Ebonyonline.net

Afrocentric Theatre, Music, Culture and Business

Death of Salesman with Wendell Pierce (Until 13 July) Death of Salesman with Wendell Pierce (Until 13 July)
Death of Salesman with Wendell Pierce (Until 13 July)

Following her recent award-winning success for Company and Angels in America, Marianne Elliott co-directs with Miranda Cromwell to bring a unique vision to one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century, seen through the eyes of an African American family.

 

Death of a Salesman addresses loss of identity and a man’s inability to accept change within himself and society. The play is a montage of memories, dreams both fulfilled and not, and a long-forgotten incident can comes back to have devastating consequences. All this happening in the last 24 hours of Willy Loman’s life. The play concludes with his suicide and subsequent funeral.

 

Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Suits, Selma, pictured second from left) makes his UK stage debut as Willy Loman, with Olivier Award-winning Sharon D. Clarke as Linda Loman and Arinzé Kene (Misty, Been So Long) as Biff Loman with Martins Imhangbe as Happy Loman.

 

Miller uses the Loman family — Willy, Linda, Biff, and Happy — to construct a self-perpetuating cycle of denial, contradiction, and order versus disorder.

 

“I don’t say he’s a great man…but he’s a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So, attention must be paid. He’s not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.”

 

Although written in 1948, the play continues to engage and deeply affect audiences till the present because it allows them to hold a mirror up to themselves. Willy’s self-criticism, sense of failure, denial of present and overwhelming regret are emotions that an audience can relate to because everyone has experienced them at one time or another.

 

In a recent interview for the Press Association Kene said: “This is going to be incredible; for one, we know the story and Arthur Miller is an incredible writer, Death of a Salesman is a masterpiece, hands down. “I think what Marianne Elliott (the director) has chosen to do with it, to make the Loman family a black family in that same period, in that same time, it heightens everything.

 

Until Sat 13 July, Death of Salesman, Young Vic, SE1 8LZ, For tickets and details visit: https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/death-of-a-salesman