Current Season
Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
12th - 17th May 2008

Willy and Linda Loman

Willy's sons, Biff and Happy

Happy charming the ladies

Willy is enticed by 'the other woman'

Cast

Willy LomanJULIAN FREEMANLindaJACKIE FIRTH
BiffDAVID ELLIOTTHappyDALE CHADWICK
BernardNEIL LLOYDThe WomanJAN THOMAS
CharleyTIM LOBLEYUncle BenDAVID POOLE
HowardBRUCE STURROCKJenny/LettaJACQUI SCOTT
Stanley/WaiterDAVID PEDRICKMiss ForsytheSHARON WALLACE
DirectorSANDRA WILLIAMS

Synopsis

A probing examination of the myths of the self-made man. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play presents the last days of Willy Loman, a failing salesman who seeks to find out, by a tragic series of soul-searching revelations of the past life he has lived with his wife, his sons and his business associates, just where and how he has failed to win success and happiness.

Directors Notes

This well-known and respected Arthur Miller drama was first performed in New York in 1949 and is set in that era. Covering a period of two days we see how exhaustion results in the physical and emotional breakdown of a good man driven by the desire to be 'successful'. But what do we mean by success? How do we know when we have achieved it? What is the price we are prepared to pay for it?

Miller challenges us to think about these questions. The play has often been described as a reflection on the American dream, where a man can achieve success and prominence regardless of his background. Willy Loman, our 'anti-hero', strives hard to be a success - the kind of success that he describes as 'greatness', the kind that can be measured in terms of popularity, riches and status. He finds it difficult to accept that bringing up his two sons, Biff and Happy, and striving to build a home for them can be, as his wife Linda says, 'an accomplishment'.

Willy's constant striving results in physical and emotional exhaustion provoking a series of flashbacks in which he re-lives past incidents and conversations. To represent these shifts in time some characters appear as Willy remembers from the past, others appear one moment in the present and then the next as their 'young' selves! This will not only tax the actors but also our technical crew responsible for lighting, effects and wardrobes. Apparently there was some creative cheating in 1977 when BLT first did the play - young people were cast to play the flashback scenes. In retrospect I hope I've done the right thing by sticking to the script! But you will be the judge of that. I hope you enjoy the experience of watching Willy Loman's journey tonight.

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