The Kelvin Players are a non-professional troupe of actors and dramatists, who operate in a very professional way. This was my first experience of seeing their work and I was excited for the opportunity to see All My Sons by Arthur Miller, having never seen or read it before.
Upon entering the Parish Hall that the theatre company own as their theatre, I was immediately taken to 1940’s America. The casts were on stage dancing to music of the era, celebrating the end of the war.
All My Sons is basically a tribute to war and the power it has to destroy people, not just physically. But emotionally too. We see a family who have lost a son, a father who was jailed for manufacturing faulty engine heads, a neighbourhood that once looked after one another.
It paints a sad picture of a broken country, where everyone’s lives are different to how they were before. Miller is so direct with his writing, but in almost the same breath so ‘apple pie’ America. That to flip back and forth from one to the other one can almost miss what he is really trying to say and take him at face value. Typical Miller, this play is full of the cynical ‘American dream’. Represented by the actors, as they monologue to the audience with a glazed look on their faces. Remeniscing about times gone by, remembering with rose tinted glasses.
As an audience member, I was carried along on the emotion of the piece as it twisted and turned around each dramatic device. Tension was built and it was clear the players were putting their all into this play.
Although I could see an opportunity to modernise this play, and base it in post Iraq/Afghanistan war, modern-day UK. I still enjoyed the original approach the Kelvin Players took. Much of the original language would feel out-of-place if spoken without an American accent and an over enthusiastic hand gesture anyway.
All My Sons continues until Saturday 18th October 2014, get tickets here.