Why See Death of a Salesman?
Transferring to the West End this spring for a limited run
Harriet Walter and Antony Sher join forces to bring the RSC's successful transfer of Death of a Salesman to the West End for a limited run of 10 weeks. Playing at the recently vacated Noel Coward Theatre, the production coincides with the centenary of playwright Arthur Miller; "Salesman" is regarded today as one of the finest American plays ever written, having won Miller a Pulitzer Prize in 1949.
WHAT IS DEATH OF A SALESMAN ABOUT?
Miller's play sees the central character Willy Loman despairing that his sons have not chosen to follow him down his successful path as a salesman. Aging and mentally degenerating, his concerned wife tries to convince him to work in their home city, in order to protect his health. Willy's dreams of success due to decades of hard graft are slipping away, whilst he stubbornly refuses to accept that his sons have chosen to follow their own destinies. Willy's woes continue to accumulate, following his firing from the company after refusing to work long-distance away from his family.
Things take a turn for the worst when his eldest son Biff attempts to find work as a salesman to no avail, and tries to make Willy understand that sales work is not for him. But there is a dark secret in Willy's past; Biff once walked in on his father in the midst of a tryst with his secretary, which destroyed Biff's admiration for him, and set him on a course of apathy and failure. Willy has conveniently tried to forget his transgressions, which leads to a heated argument in a restaurant with Biff and his other son Happy, present. The two siblings walk out in anger, leaving a confused and tearful Willy to make his own way home.
When Linda angrily confronts her two sons for abandoning their father, Biff tries one last time, in a truly heartbreaking scene, to convince Willy that he loves him despite his past actions, and to accept his and Happy's choices for their lives. Willy, bemused and still in denail, chooses to take this as Biff finally capitulating to his demands, and takes a drastically tragic action to put Biff on the right path to success, once and for all. This action will have devastating consequences for the whole family.
Previews from: 9 May 2015
Opening night: 13 May 2015
Suitable for ages 12+
Two hours 45 minutes including one interval
And before you stop reading
Please note that latecomers will not be admitted into the theatre
Cast and Creative
Antony Sher as Willy Loman
Harriet Walter as Linda Loman
Alex Hassell as Biff
Sam Marks as Happy
Directed by Gregory Doran
Designed by Stephen Brimson Lewis
Lighting by Tim Mitchell
Music by Paul Englishby
Sound by Jonathan Ruddick
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