Death of a Salesman finds renewed relevance with a poignant, star-studded revival
To earn the title of a classic is no mean feat, but Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman has managed to retain this status since its release in 1949. The iconic story is a perfect reflection of the time in which it was written, but also manages to stand up today as a heavily relatable story – the themes have proven to remain timeless (which is pretty grim, but that’s the reality of it). A brand-new iteration of the award-winning story is set to open Queensland Theatre’s massive 2019 season – and this is one version you won’t want to miss.
In case you’ve managed to miss every adaptation of Death of a Salesman, let us give you a little background on the story. It tells the tale of travelling salesman Willy Loman, a successful businessman who seemed to have it all – the wife, the family and the cash – before the age of American optimism came crashing to a halt. As things spirals further into darkness, Willy starts to lose a grip on his broken-down life. This plot obviously resonated with a lot of people – the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play in 1949, and has enjoyed huge success on Broadway, through cinema and on television.
Director Jason Klarwein has been tasked to tackle Death of a Salesman, bringing fresh eyes to the modern classic and drawing comparisons between the original context and the global financial crisis of recent times. His skills combine with set design from the award-winning Richard Roberts, who ensures that there is some trickery afoot to reflect Willy’s slippery concept of time. The star-studded cast is led by the inimitable Charles Allen, no stranger to both stage and screen, with supporting roles taken by Kevin Hides (Composing Venus, A Conversation), Peter Kowitz (Janet King, Crownies), Thomas Larkin (The Wider Earth, Macbeth), Jackson McGovern (The Owl and the Pussycat, Rent –The Musical), Angie Milliken (The Effect, Rake), Sarah Ogden (The Crucible, Moth), Ilai Swindells (SLiDE, Harrow) and Gemma Willing (Tidelands, Wuthering Heights).