Death of a Salesman

I didn't have high hopes for a school drama group bringing one of the classic plays of the twentieth century to the Fringe. Half way through the opening scene, however, I was convinced that they could handle the weight of such a masterpiece. Subtly directed and with some brilliant acting, this is an excellent show.The classic tragedy of an average man who is caught up in his delusion of grandeur, this production sticks closely to the original stage directions and doesn't try to force the play to be something it is not. Instead it simply trusts in the actors and the script, to great success.A huge amount of praise needs to go to Patrick Fleming who gives a masterful performance as Willy Loman. Thoroughly believable and, crucially, never overplaying the character's age, he manages to couple subtle character tics, such as playing with his tie and glasses, with the manic energy that drives the play. Serena Jennings and Alexander Riley as Linda and Biff Loman are also sublime, not that there are any weak links in the talented young cast.Particular highlights of the play are the restaurant scene and Linda's funeral monologue which really showcase the talents of the main cast members. Many in the audience were moved to tears by the end; there had been a real investment in each of the characters, which can only come with complete immersion into the play.If you can motivate yourself to be up and about by 10:30am, this is a brilliant production and I couldn't recommend it more highly. It could also be worth keeping an eye out for some of these performers in the future.

Reviews by Philip Liebman

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The Blurb

The greatest play of the 20th century by Arthur Miller. The story of one little man battling for identity, purpose and greatness in a ruthless world. Sell-out show: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

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