Review: All My Sons
Bedlam stages the mysteries and miseries of Miller.
For a play where 100 “cracked heads” – for aeroplanes that is – are the catalyst for action, Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” is intense. Adhering to his usual naturalistic and tragic genres, Miller’s play focusses on the relationship of a family in the wake of WWII and how they come to terms with their losses and the dark secrets that haunt them.
Director John Rushton – a veteran member of Bedlam Theatre – recreated this sorrowful and intriguing world with all the naturalism and emotion Miller could have wished for. Admittedly there were a few opening night glitches with lines and tech, but no legs or set were broken. Unless you include the deliberately broken branch of a REAL TREE that was strewn on the floor. Which, in the second act, actor Jordan Roberts-Laverty had to move…shirtless. The 14 year-old Danish school girls (apparently there was a school-trip?!) were in hysterics.
But to the acting. It was a very mature standard of acting. The whole cast seemed to really engage with the text and Mother and Father Keller, Jimi Mitchell and Sarah McGuinness (another unstoppable Bedlamite) were stellar. Mitchell’s adoption of a low, husky voice not quite matching his youthful visage, but it was well done all the same. Venice van Someren and Roberts-Laverty had chemistry as Ann and Chris, which again set off the giggling Danes. But obviously the real star was Nathan Wong who took the role a boy named Bert. So adorable in the red cowboy hat! Apparently he was acquired from Gum Tree. Sofas and actors, great site. The other cast members also pulled their weight, Jonathan Oldfield and Izzy Stoker providing some light relief with their horoscopes and baby talk midst the misery.
Rushton commented that he wanted to direct something that focussed on the actors. I can safely say that the acting was the main focus of the production. The fab set design , ℅ Lu Kocaurek, had no complicated changes but instead provided a backdrop for the action. Admittedly, my eyes did wonder from the acting occasionally as there is only so much one can take of aircraft terminology. And the door was a pretty colour.
Geat job guys! Go and see it while you still can: