REVIEW ROUND-UP: All My Sons at the Old Vic Theatre

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Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Jeremy Herrin’s production starring Bill Pullman and Sally Field.

The Guardian: ★★★★ “Colin Morgan captures perfectly Chris’ mixture of survivor guilt, intuitive awareness of Joe’s mendacity and love for his brother’s fiancee. Coleman, in a rare stage appearance after a decade in television, endows Ann with just the right blend of glowing sensuality and steely determination.”

The Independent: ★★★ “Mixing British and American actors in an American play always has risks, and there are moments at the points of high emotion, where Morgan and Coleman’s accents start pitching around a bit. A few cracked cylinder heads lurk in the script, too: why does Ann carry around the letter that would settle everything until the very end? But the tragic machinery draws you in, just as the Greeks intended, and the plot cracks along towards its grim inexorable conclusion.”

Time Out: ★★★★ “You don’t get the sort of ‘big’ acting you might expect from this play and this cast. Morgan is the only one who even really gets to have a good shout. But Pullman and Field are good enough actors to hold us riveted regardless. Both performances are masterclasses in moral ambivalence. And in showing the Kellers to be flawed, fragile human beings and not speechifying villains, I think Herrin and cast makes a lot of sense of the play.”

The Telegraph: ★★★★★ “When star casting pays off as handsomely as this it’s a thrill to watch. Although it seems to be almost by stealth that Hollywood veterans Bill Pullman and Sally Field, 65 and 72 respectively, creep up and grab the audience by the jugular in Jeremy Herrin’s excellent production of Arthur Miller’s first masterpiece.”

Radio Times: ★★★★ “Field is outstanding as Kate, who must have at once the sweet civility of an elderly mother and the viciousness of a woman betrayed, while Pullman convinces as a man whose initial geniality eventually gives way to something far more base.”

Broadway World: ★★★★ “Other than Field’s fervent turn, this isn’t the most emotive of productions, but it presents Miller’s thesis with devastating clarity.”

Secret London: “Favouring a light touch as ever, Jeremy Herrin’s direction is content to rely on his leading quartet more than any outlandish theatrics.”

The Arts Desk: ★★★ “Despite its star casting, Herrin’s production is disappointingly uneven. None of the minor roles are convincing, and they never gel with the main action.”

Variety: “Herrin’s production feels fresh from a factory line, albeit as defective as one of Joe Keller’s cracked cylinders. Miller’s play is so full of clunks and contrivances that it needs scuffing up. Too much here is too traditional: carefully blocked, lines on the beat, emotionally emphatic. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t quite fly.”

There Ought to be Clowns: “Sally Field is everything you’d hope for and more as matriarch Kate and Bill Pullman is excellent as the haunted Joe. Both made old too soon by the lies they’ve internalised, both unable to escape the hollowness of their picture-perfect lives and the grief they long to hide.”

The Times: ★★★★ “A lack of big ‘stage acting’ leads to an extraordinary evening of theatre.”

British Theatre Guide: “This is undoubtedly going to prove one of the theatrical highlights of the year and once again demonstrates why Arthur Miller remains so popular and Headlong has become, at the very least, one of Britain’s most reliable and exciting producing companies.”

Theatre Guide London: “This production doesn’t get in the way of the play too much. But it doesn’t plumb the moral depth and emotional power other productions have found in it.”

London Theatre1: ★★★★ “Sally Field’s interpretation of Kate Keller as a controlling, guilt-ridden woman, who seeks absolution through a dead son, is the most searing portrayal you will see this year. Highly recommended for her performance.”

The Upcoming: ★★★★ “Though director Jeremy Herrin and set designer Max Jones do a lot to create an incredibly intimate atmosphere in the not insignificant surroundings, this production exists to showcase its performers.”

All My Sons continues to play at the Old Vic Theatre until the 8 June 2019.

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on RssEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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