(Alfred Hickling’s article appeared in the Guardian, 4/1.)
The measure of a great play is that it might be produced three times in as many months while scarcely appearing to be the same play at all. If Ivo van Hove’s radical revision has grabbed most of the headlines, David Thacker’s fine Bolton revival showed absolute fidelity to Arthur Miller’s text. Stephen Unwin’s production for the Touring Consortium cleaves down the middle, with a semi-realistic staging that stirs up the murky undercurrents of the play’s sexual politics.
Liz Ascroft’s design presents a fluid space in which the Carbones’ cramped living quarters give out on to the denuded piers and telegraph poles of the Brooklyn waterfront. The sense of fierce family loyalties has a horribly primal tang. But the production is chiefly remarkable for a compelling central performance from Jonathan Guy Lewis, who implies that Eddie’s overprotective fondness for his young niece disguises the deeper extent of his emotional repression.