All My Sons, Loft Theatre, Leamington, until February 18
Written just after the Second World War, this play was generally believed
to be one of Arthur Miller greatest successes. It tells how Joe Keller’s
obsession with making money has been at the expense of others lives.
As the story unravels we learn that this is a family whose existence is
built on deceit.
Much of the underlying message of this play sadly still holds true today.
When Chris Keller, Joe’s son, says that he would like to put all the men
who made money out of the war against a wall and shoot them, Joe
adds that you would need a lot of bullets.
In many ways the play is unremitting in its portrayal of the complexity
and lies that have tainted the Keller family. It is however an engrossing
and thought provoking story.
The intensity of this production holds the audience in its grip throughout.
It is supported by a strong cast including Mary MacDonald. She gives a
remarkable performance as Kate Keller, Joe’s wife, a woman who has
been unable to accept the loss of her son Larry who was declared
missing during the war.
Joe Keller played by (Tom O’Connor) and Chris Keller played by (Jimmy Proctor) also provide convincing depictions of a father and son caught up in a family in turmoil. Other noteworthy performances by cast members include Ann Deever, Larry’s ex girlfriend (Julian-Ann Randell) and Angie Collins, the bitter next door neighbour
This is an extraordinarily powerful and emotional production. It is well
directed and this, together with clever set design and creative opening
sequence make this well worth seeing.