Powerful tale lost as tensions evaporate in open air venue

all my sons pic‘It’s gonna rain tonight,’ predicts All My Sons protagonist Joe Keller. As one, the Regent’s Park audience turned their gaze to a threatening sky.

Thankfully, we were spared a deluge, but it highlighted a problem with this venue. Arthur Miller’s masterful study of corrosive crime, deceit and guilt, in which past deeds cast long shadows, needs to feel unbearably oppressive.

As the noose tightens round the neck of Joe, whose wealth is the result of illicit wartime business, we should share his sense of inescapable doom. But the tension dissipates in the open air.

We’re too far removed from the actors, miked to compete with ambient noise. Instead of subtle performance shifts, we get histrionic music cues and the random appearance of extras. It’s a particularly solemn show and tell.

Read my full Islington Gazette review here

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