Thursday, September 23, 2010

Death of a Salesman at the Gate

This play has aged well. The sign of a classic. Despite being tired and wet I was instantly drawn into the downward spiral of Willy Loman's life. What a powerful pleasure good theatre is. There was a great cast: Gate regulars such as Stephen Brennan, Barry McGovern and John Kavanagh, augmented by some smart newcomers (Garrett Lombard and Rory Nolan), and the star turn Harris Yulin as Willy. You'd know his face from numerous films and TV programmes.

The spare set worked well and what Joyce Carol Oates described as the "eerie dream-like melding of past and present" was carried out smoothly and convincingly. And how apposite the play is for our times - Miller's critique of capitalist amorality (immorality?) still holds good. A reference to bankers and jail brought a knowing laugh from the audience.