All My Sons, Curve Theatre, Leicester – Review

All My Sons, Curve Theatre, Leicester – Review

8 October – 14 November 2009 

A contemporary production by Arthur Miller on guilt, denial and blame set in the reality of post-war American capitalism. Exploring different types of love, guilty feelings towards the lost ones, who shouldn’t have died, unconditioned love towards a lost son leading to total denial of the mother, and blame induced hatred.

Arthur Miller has assembled an experienced cast who are well equipped to show hidden emotions, suppressed guilt and fear to face these challenging feelings. Creative technicians have very little to hide as the main theatre walls were pulled up to reveal the back of the stage and the set once the performance ended. Puritan and very clean approach to the structure of the crime scene works impressively well. 

The story begins nice and smooth, as slow as a lazy Sunday morning. Temperatures rise to a dramatic climax in the third act, taking the plot from the initial idyllic family atmosphere towards a blunt and point of no return. 

There are some stunning creations in this performance. Joe Keller played by former Coronation Street actor Ian Redford. Joe embodies the American dream, controlled and acquired calmness which apparently can be easily overpowered by his wife’s neurotic behaviours. The amazing Kate Keller played by Diana Kent who passionately wants to get the dead son back, no matter what is going on in the family. Alasdair Craig brings real depth to the character of George Deever.

One of the youngest characters in the play is Bert and played by lovely youngsters who already show dedication and passion for the acting profession.

The set shows the wonderful technical capabilities of the Curve theatre with an elevated front yard which transforms during the last act to show heated emotions risen within the family. To everyone’s surprise, the reality of this dramatic scene is enhanced by rain. Truly inspired staging.

I didn’t think that there was little left to wow me in theatre. Yet, I was wrong. All My Sons is family drama produced to the highest standards, definitely recommended for live performance lovers.

Joanna Gulbinska

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