In its dismemberment of the American dream, this RSC production of Arthur Miller’s most famous play hits at the heart and lands right on the mark

4 stars

Photos Ellie Kurttz

Death of a Salesman, Noel Coward Theatre - Sir Antony Sher and Harriet Walter

After a successful run in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director Gregory Doran has brought Death of a Salesman to the West End.

Death of a Salesman, Noel Coward Theatre - Sir Antony Sher

Set in Depression-era America, the play follows Willy Loman (Sir Antony Sher), who, after decades of hard graft, is coming to realise that he won’t accomplish his lifelong ambitions: owning a home, earning his fortune and raising two ‘well-liked’ sons to carry on his legacy.

Death of a Salesman, Noel Coward Theatre - Sir Antony Sher

The story moves nimbly between past and present – helping us understand Willy’s relationships with his boys and his long-suffering wife Linda (Harriet Walter) – as Miller explores misguided hope, loss and the fear of failure in a land that celebrates success.

Death of a Salesman, Noel Coward Theatre - the loman family

Despite the overall despondence, there are touches of humour throughout. They’re a welcome relief, but it’s the haunting look in the eyes of the Loman family during the penultimate scene that stays with me after the curtain falls. A powerful production.

Until 18 July 2015
Tube Leicester Square/Covent Garden
Hospitality Champagne packages start at £45pp for half a bottle of champagne, a souvenir programme and reserved area. VIP packages start at £95pp, and include all the above, plus canapés and a 45-minute drinks reception before the show
Eat & drink Asia de Cuba, Boyd’s Brasserie & Bar, The Hospital Club