The Darlinghurst Theatre Company has made an impressive start in its new venue, the Eternity Playhouse, with Iain Sinclair’s strong production of Arthur Miller’s classic play ALL MY SONS (1947).
This was an intense night in the theatre, more than apt for this venue which used to be a devout Baptist church where no doubt more than a few fire and brimstone speeches were delivered.
All the main characters in this sweeping Miller drama are in a fighting, uncompromising mood. Gutsy performances were required from the cast and delivered. all the leading players have their big scene to show off their wares.
As the parents, desperate to keep their family together, Marshall Napier as Joe and Toni Scanlan as Kate give memorable performances. Joe has spent time in prison, and will do anything to not go back. Their son Larry went missing three years ago in action in plane during the War, and Kate still believes that he is about to come in through the front door.
Andrew Henry as their other son Chris and Meredith Penman as Larry’s wife Anne want to make a life together, against Kate’s wishes. And against Anne’s brother, George, played by Anthony Gooley, who returns to his old home town to take Anne back.
Iain Sinclair plays the part of family neighbour, Doc Jim Bayliss, as well as helming the production. Mary Rachel Brown plays his insecure wife, Sue. Robin Goldsworthy and Briallen Clarke play the other neighbour couple, Frank and Lydia Lubey and Angus Moore plays Bert.
As Arthur Miller asserted in one of his other great plays, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, attention has to be paid to these characters as they fight like hell to get what their needs met.
Sinclair’s staging is excellent and he recreates the late 1940’s time period well, in both the set and costumes. As per Miller’s original design, the audience enters the theatre greeted with a fallen tree, the result of an over-night storm, and bearing ill-portents of what is to come. Nate Edmondson’s subtle music score works well as does Nicholas Rayment’s lighting design.
Recommended, Iain Sinclair’s revival of ALL MY SONS plays the Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst until Sunday December 1, 2013.