Written by Arthur Miller
Directed by Gemma Bodinetz
September – 7th October 2006)
The Liverpool Playhouse opened its new season with this compelling production,
directed by Gemma Bodinetz, by the acclaimed American playwright Arthur
First performed on stage in 1947, it still has a strong resonance with
the current political and social climate.
It addresses many issues, including the American military-industrial
complex, the waste of young lives in wars, rampant greed, disavowal of
responsibility, falsehood, denial of the truth and the fragility of the
All My Sons is set on the front porch of a house in an unnamed town in
America, "with not a cloud in the sky". The storm clouds are
about to loom over the next twelve hours, as reality bites in with devastating
and fatal consequences.
The drama revolves around domineering father figure Joe Keller (convincingly
played by Michael Byrne), who made parts for fighter planes during the
Second World War. His son Chris (Alexis Denisof) looks destined to take
over the family business but he is reluctant to do so. His main priority
is to marry Ann Deever (Alice Patten), who was the fiancée of his
brother Larry until he was killed in the war.
But Joe's wife Kate (Dearbhla Molloy) refuses to accept that Larry is
dead, despite Ann trying to convince her that he will not come back.
A further barrier preventing Ann linking up with Chris is that she is
the daughter of Joe's former business partner, now imprisoned for gross
negligence after their company supplied the air force with faulty machine
parts, leading to the deaths of twenty one pilots. Though Joe was released
from jail on appeal, a deep guilt hangs over the Keller family.
All My Sons is a thought provoking, superbly written play, exploring
the shallowness of the American dream, the illusions upon which that dream
is built, and in a wider context the greed and capitalism that grips many
in other parts of the world.
Comment left by Gary McCaul on 6th November, 2006 at 16:39
Says a lot about the play, but so does wikipedia, very little insight about the production.