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Feb 6th, 2019
Set in an overcrowded attic room, intricately designed by Simon Higlett, The Price centres around the Franz sons who, after 16 years since their father's death, come together to finally sell off his possessions. As ever with a Miller play, The Price takes a fine-tooth comb upon the Great Depression, peeling back the news headlines and the famous images to reveal the devastating effect it had on the people it touched.
With Olivier award winner Brendan Coyle paired alongside acting legend David Suchet this production can boast of well-executed performances. However, it was Suchet who stole the show. As doddery old furniture seller Gregory Solomon, Suchet shone brightly against the mountain of chairs, record players and silken robes to bring great aching belly laughs to the audience. His comic timing bounces off Coyle's straightlaced cop act beautifully, giving a masterclass in performance.
The supporting performances from Adrian Lukis as Walter and Sara Stewart as Esther were fine enough, although Lukis' tendency to shout most of his lines did become grating (as one perturbed theatre goer mentioned on the way out). The script is certainly not of its time (and why would it be) but Stewart's ability to retain her womanly independence offsets Esther's potential to just be another exasperated housewife.
At two-hours and 40 minutes, The Price is about 20 minutes too long, the second act drags with all the seriousness of familial despair. All the audience wants is for Solomon to creep back onto the stage with another quip about the Franz's not getting a better price.
However, this production is beautiful. I wish I could describe the set in all its glory but as one of the shows most closely coveted features (you are banned from taking pictures of it, and fair enough!) and I annoyingly have to say, you have to see it believe it.
With fine performances from its stars and a script by one of the 20th century's greatest playwrights, The Price has a winning formula. But, I would suggest that you take a flagon of coffee and perhaps a blanket because you're in a for a long stint.
View our show pages for more information about The Price, Wyndhams Theatre.
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