THE great American dream turns horribly sour for Willy Loman, struggling to come to terms with the fact he’s considered past his sell by date in the cut throat world of commerce that has funded his safe, suburban lifestyle for more than 30 years.
His two sons, Biff and Happy, spend this seminal play in his shadow, failing to live up to his very high expectations.
Don Warrington is a revelation as Loman, tearing into his boys after they fail to share his work ethic in what remains one of the finest plays ever written for the modern stage.
Warrington looked visibly drained by the time he took his bows on press night and who can blame him, after giving his all in this most demanding of roles. Stubborn and proud, his character watches helplessly as his life falls apart at the seams.
The two actors who play Biff and Happy, Ashley Zhangazha and Buom Tihngang, are so convincing it’s tempting to forget that they and Willie aren’t related for real. Ten again I’ve always found it impossible not to be drawn into the plots of Arthur Miller plays, so heartfelt is the way he writes.
Maureen Beattie excels as Willy’s loyal wife Linda, desperate to be his rock and keep the family together by persuading her bloody minded husband to see there’s more to life than relentless hard work.
At three hours and 10 minutes including an interval this may strike you as a somewhat daunting theatrical journey but fear not, you have Miller’s brilliant dialogue to keep you company and it’s a theatrical journey well worth the effort.
Director Sarah Frankcom’s decision to keep the actors sitting on the edge of the stage for most of the play when they’re even not speaking is an inspired one. Make sure you don’t miss this walk with one of modern theatre’s true giants.
* Until November 17. The box office is on 0161 833 9833. Star rating - **** Photo: Johan Presson