Review: All My Sons, Lace Market Theatre, by Alan Geary
The boss of a small US engineering company is living with a guilty half-secret. It seems that he and his associate were in trouble during the recent war – this is the late forties – for turning out dud parts for fighter planes. During the course of the play the whole truth is revealed, with, at a straightforward level, disastrous consequences for him and his family.
All My Sons, like a lot of Arthur Miller's plays, is, thematically and structurally, a Greek tragedy. It's the last act of a drama with its origins in the past; and it involves the fall of a "king", with the promise at the end of a new and better order to follow.
It's a powerful and profoundly serious piece; and it's well served by a production directed with her usual intelligence and good taste by Amanda Hodgson. She actually improves proceedings by cutting an irritating juvenile character out altogether.
There's a certain amount of, doubtless unavoidable, miscasting in terms of age but, given the uniformly high standard of performance, this hardly matters. All five principal characters seem emotionally engaged with their parts. And they handle a difficult text, with all the awkward and meaning-filled pauses, very well.
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Daniel Bryant's Joe Keller is acted realistically, with tact and real understanding. So is Chris Ireson's Chris Keller; there's a scene where it's he, not Joe, who loses emotional control.
Ian Wedd gives an original and compelling interpretation of George. He re-focuses the play as soon as he storms on.
All My Sons is at the Lace Market Theatre till Saturday, 10th November