All my sons
Talawa Theatre Company Royal Exchange Manchester
Until 26 October, royalexchange.co.uk
This new staging of Arthur Miller’s powerful early play All My Sons is gripping throughout. Don Warrington conveys the complexities of Miller’s central character—the corrupt, lying arms manufacturer Joe Keller.
He is supported by strong performances, most notably Dona Kroll as Joe’s wife Kate. The Kellers’ family life takes centre stage, and gradually an exploration of corruption and business emerges.
Kate is in denial about the death of her son Larry in the Second World War, and opposes her other son Chris’s decision to marry Larry’s ex-fiance, Ann. Ann’s father is prison because Joe wrongly blamed him for a faulty batch of cylinder heads that caused fatal plane crashes.
The play highlights the immorality of capitalism, where profit is more important than human life. And it shows why Talawa fully deserves to be such a prominent black-led theatre company.