Review: All my sons

by librarykris on June 7, 2012

Jessica Robinson, Richard Dey, Jeffrey Thomas, Emma Kinane in 'All my sons' at Circa TheatreJoe and Kate Keller are living a version of the American Dream. They have a comfortable lifestyle, a loving son, nice new neighbours. However there is a dark event in their past involving their old neighbours which will impact on their future.

Arthur Miller’s Tony Award winning play was first performed in 1947.  It’s an elegantly structured script, that twists and turns as it unfolds the story before us.

Director Susan Wilson has assembled a cast who bring their A-game for this production.  The four main cast members, Emma Kinane (as Kate Keller), Jeffrey Thomas (as Joe Keller), Richard Dey (as Chris Keller), and Jessica Robinson (as Ann Deever) hold the shifting relationships between their characters very strongly.  A particular highlight is the scene near the end of Act 2 between Thomas and Dey. (You’ll know which one it is.) Kinane is tremendous as the mother, saying one thing, meaning something different. Thomas is best when playing the genial father, joking with his neighbours and son.

Supporting characters feel like they have a life outside of the time they are on the stage they are presented so clearly.  Gavin Rutherford (as Dr Jim Bayliss) is weary; Christopher Brougham (as Frank Lubey) is peevish. Erin Banks (as Sue Bayliss) is wonderfully vicious; Lyndsey Garner (as Lydia Lubey) is light and vivacious.  Beck Taylor (as Bert (a child, he alternates nights with Dino Karsanidis)) is playful and hopeful. Martyn Wood (as George Deever) is by turns agitated, resigned, wondering. The play pivots on his character.

The other elements of the production are also clearly presented. The set by John Hodgkins looks lovely at first glance. A second glance notices the decay and emptiness. Gareth Hobbs’ sound design supports the drama on stage as does Ulli Briese’s lighting design. Paul Jenden’s costume design has bright fabrics, with a subtle theme that indicates where the story is going.

Excellent. Recommended.

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