National Theatre Live: All My Sons (2019) Review


Bill Pullman – Joe Keller
Sally Field – Kate Keller
Colin Morgan – Chris Keller
Jenna Coleman – Ann Deever
Oliver Johnstone – George Deever

Performance Date: Tuesday 14th May 2019
Theatre: The Old Vic

All My Sons is a 1947 play by Arthur Miller, I always feel that it is essential to know what year a play was written and then first performed. On Broadway it ran from 1947 and closed in 1949 which is a long stint for a play. They don’t usually have a long running time in revivals and this one is no different in the West End. So thankfully National Theatre Live decided to broadcast it at the cinema as part of the on going season. It really does help everyone outside of London (myself included) keep up to date with the latest West End shows.

Joe and Kate Keller would appear as the perfect married couple with two sons raised very well. But when War struck and the eldest son is killed in combat everything is going to come crashing down around them. Hard choices are behind everything and we are left wondering exactly what happened when Joe had been arrested but then managed to get out while his business partner was then locked up and charged.

Chris sees the good in everyone and does not really want to see hate. He never wants to think of that, he had been writing to Ann the former girlfriend of his now deceased brother and plans no marrying her. Something that Kate is not going to accept as she is still in believe that Larry is going to come home one day, obsessed with similar stories about men who have been missing longer than him suddenly turning up home.

This creates a lot of tension with Joe and Chris as they believe and accept that he has been dead for the past three years. Will we find out the truth? That is something that we are all wondering, I will admit that at one point I was hoping he would suddenly show up and we would have a happy ending. Let’s face it though this is a hard hitting play that looks into the dynamics of family relationships. On the other side we have Joe dealing with his demons and what happened with the Deever family, baring in mind Ann’s father is in prison because of the decisions that were made and killed 21 pilots.

I felt as though the play moved at a good pace and I am always impressed with the level of performance from the actors involved as casts are usually small and the subject matters deep and meaningful. It was great to see Sally Field and Bill Pullman acting in this way after years of films and TV shows. I was also super impressed with both Jenna Coleman and mainly Colin Morgan, the latter was outstanding from start to finish!

A very tough family drama that makes you wonder just how well you know those that you should be closest to, but also what secrets they may just be keeping from you!

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