(The following review by Bruce Arnold appeared in the Irish Independent, April 9, 2009.)
All My Sons
Arthur Miller's play, 'All My Sons', which opened at the Gate Theatre on Tuesday night, surpassed all my expectations in a production of great power, simplicity and purity.
It is not a simple play, nor is it an allegory, but a direct story of wickedness and shame. Its setting is distant and remote: the wartime production of faulty aircraft cylinders in small-town America in the 1940s, causing deaths all the community knew about.
But its relevance is universal, all too easily to be construed with the way Ireland has been betrayed by political greed and corruption in recent years.
The fine cast is led by Len Cariou as Joe Keller, the guilty figure with blood on his hands and concealment of what he did in his heart. Complicit with him, in the most complex part in the play, is his wife, Kate, acted with great judgment by Barbara Brennan. She conceals behind fey imaginings full knowledge of Joe's murderous responsibility. What she does not know is that he caused the death of the son she believes will still return from the war . . .