Friday, 31 May 2019

All My Sons at The Old Vic | Review

These tickets were kindly gifted to me by The Old Vic.

My third play of the year! This time last year I would not have guessed for one second that I'd be going into June having seen 3 plays in just 5 months. I've always insisted that plays aren't for me, and whilst I am definitely more of a musicals person I've really surprised myself by how much I have enjoyed branching out of my comfort zone and appreciating some different shows.


It is also always a joy to visit The Old Vic, the building work to make the theatre more accessible and add more toilets is still ongoing and it is so exciting to see how much work has gone into it and how much they clearly care about accessibility. I cannot wait to visit this Autumn when the work is completed! Although, I've at least one more trip before then to see Andrew Scott in Present Laughter, but for now, let's talk about All My Sons.

I will admit that I didn't know much about Arthur Miller prior to seeing two productions written by him this year, but I am definitely glad that I now feel as though I've learnt a lot through my own research and watching the plays. It's interesting to watch something that was written so long ago, very far from the kind of writing I am used to in the productions I see.


'You don't realise how people can hate Chris, they hate so much they'll tear the world to pieces... '

America, 1947. Despite hard choices and even harder knocks, Joe and Kate Keller are a success story. They have built a home, raised two sons and established a thriving business. 

But nothing lasts forever and their contented lives, already shadowed by the loss of their eldest boy to war, are about to shatter. With the return of a figure from the past, long buried truths are forced to the surface and the price of their American dream is laid bare.' - The Old Vic



We have to talk about the set first, I am amazed every time I visit The Old Vic by their flexibility in how the stage and seating can be configured, every show I've seen has been set up in a different way. Sometimes there's been seating on stage, once there was a revolve and other times the stage has come up through the middle of the stalls! I'd seen photos of the set prior to seeing the show and had already been blown away but when that house came on to the stage at the start of the show it really took my breath away. The skill and preparation that had gone into the set was astounding and I applaud everyone that made that happen.

At school I was always fascinated with 1900s American history, whether it was the roaring 20s, the great depression or the years that followed after, so this kind of story was right up my street. Act 1 to me felt like context, you learnt a lot about each character's background and how they ended up where they are, which is of course important but I felt as though this didn't need a whole act to do. The story picked up pace quite quickly in Act 2 though, it was higher energy and I felt myself being a lot more engaged and invested in the story. There were so many raw emotions being portrayed that it was difficult not to find yourself immersed in their lives. Despite the fact that it was a little predictable at times this wasn't something that bothered me as the quality of the acting was incredibly high.


It was such a treat to get to see Bill Pullman, Sally Field, Jenna Coleman and Colin Morgan perform on stage, supported by an incredible cast. They all really made the performance what it is, to have 4 actors on stage who can portray emotional so exceptionally was such a delight and something I'm glad I didn't miss.

It's still true that I favour musicals over plays but the more I visit The Old Vic, the more I'm enjoying watching something that looks so deeply into what is being portrayed. Something that requires all of your concentration. I recommend everyone visits the theatre at least once to experience it, even if you are sure you're only a musicals person!


As for the access, things are much the same as my previous 2 trips. The building work is still ongoing so getting into the theatre is tricky for everyone but for the most part the team are doing a great job of organising things. I was sat in N6 again with a great view of the stage and the staff got me and the other access patrons in slightly earlier to make things easier. I am definitely counting down to when the building work is finished though, when I will finally see more of the theatre and have choice of 10 wheelchair spaces! Yes, 10! It's an exciting time.

All My Sons is playing until 8th June at The Old Vic, tickets are still available for a few performances on the website and day seats are available from 10am at the box office each day.
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