I think this is the fourth time I have seen Arthur Miller's play All My Sons and although I have seen other very good productions, this is the best for the magnificent acting of Bill Pullman as the engineering firm chief, Joe Keller, Sally Field as his wife Kate and Colin Morgan as their son Chris. It is a difficult play to write about without the big reveal which would spoil the play for anyone seeing it for the first time.
The South African born director Yael Farber, after an award winning Mies Julie brings her dark touch to Arthur Miller's iconic play about prejudice, politics and hysteria The Crucible. Set in the 17th century in Salem, the witch trials were a matter of record, probably driven by greed for land confiscated from witches but as Miller was writing he was thinking about the trials in twentieth century America, the witch hunt for Communists that were instigated by Senator McCarthy.
Zoë Wannamaker, steely and determinedly in denial, contrasting with her unruly hair which escapes from the pinned back style, opens the play with the symbolic device Howard Davies used ten years ago. During the thunderstorm, Kate wakes and comes into the garden and sees the trunk of the apple tree, which was planted for Larry, crack in two. If anyone believed in omens this would be it. As Kate recalls her dream we hear the roaring noise of aircraft engines behind the wind and storm. Her low groans when she reads the letter strike to the depths of a bottomless emotional chasm, a mother's love for her son.