Bleak statistics show that a person commits suicide on Britain’s rail network every 31 hours and, as we learn in the play, for every fatality there are another three people who attempt to take their own lives. That number is a sad reflection on our time and forms the fabric of Kieran Knowles’ new play.
Seeing Northampton’s Royal & Derngate production almost at the end of its tour in the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre – such a lovely theatre now, clearly well cherished locally and a perfect space for a play that is intimate and epic – you have to applaud a cast whose early days must have been testing in the extreme.
Miller’s 1949 depiction of the ageing, failing salesman Willy Loman as he struggles to comes to terms with the death of his dreams – and perhaps of The American Dream itself – has only gained in stature over the years. What some regarded as a merely a Marxist- derived critique of the US way of life has come to seem as much like high tragedy as anything English-speaking theatre has produced in the last century.