The outdoor theatre is a magical place, but the giant billboard with a Stepford Wives style happy family grinning down at us is quite creepy. The growing darkness proved the ideal setting for To Kill A Mockingbird last May and once again the sinister shadows are timed perfectly as we witness the play’s final tragedy.
All My Sons is perhaps less well-known than Arthur Miller’s other plays, but it shares a common theme – morality. Joe Keller (Tom Mannion) owns a factory that manufactures parts for washing machines, but during the war it made parts for planes. Several of these cylinders were defective and 21 pilots died as a result… But whose fault was it? In just one evening, the Keller family is destroyed and each person must deal with the consequences of their actions.
The story of All My Sons itself is clever, but it does take a while to get going and sadly the play does too. The first few seconds of the opening scene are eerie but effective, with the cast all gathered around the stage simply staring. However, once it actually starts, it loses the magic and it’s not immediately clear who each character is.
The acting is weak in places, particularly during the dramatic outbursts and some of the accents are a little wobbly. Bríd Brennan (Kate Keller) is consistent throughout, despite her character’s frequent changes of emotion and although Andy McKeane is barely onstage, he still manages to make an impression as the confused and wronged George Deever – the son of Joe’s business partner who is currently in prison.
Overall this is a good production, but it did feel slightly lacking in places and it would have been nice to see a bit more energy from the cast and a bit more consistency with the accents and acting.
Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes
All My Sons is playing at Regents Park Open Air Theatre until 7 June 2014. Click here for tickets.