NY's Death of a Salesman Transfers to Old VicDate: 7 September 1999
Robert Falls' acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman transfers to the West End in the new year. The production, featuring its two Tony Award-winning American principals, Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Franz, opens at the Old Vic in late January 2000 prior to a US tour.
Death of a Salesman, now considered a seminal work of American theatre, tells the story of Willie Loman, the small time travelling salesman who harbours a blind belief in the American Dream and tries to graft his failed ambitions and values onto his unwilling sons. Premiered in 1949, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Lee J Cobb, the drama went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. Prior to Falls' production, it had been revived twice on Broadway, first with George C Scott and, a decade ago, with Dustin Hoffman as Willie and John Malkovich as his son Biff.
This production of Death of a Salesman first appeared at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in 1998 before transferring in January 1999 to Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it continues to play to sell-out houses. In June, the production won four Tony Awards - for Best Revival, Best Direction for Falls, Best Actor for Dennehy and Best Featured Actress for Franz.
Dennehy, who plays Willie, has collaborated with Falls on three other plays - Bertolt Brecht's Galileo and Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh and Touch of a Poet. His other theatre credits include Brian Friel's Translations on Broadway and The Cherry Orchard. His many feature films include Presumed Innocent, F/X, Gorky Park and First Blood.
Elizabeth Franz, who plays Willie's wife Linda, has starred in Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs and Broadway Bound on Broadway and won an Obie Award for her performance in the title role of Christopher Durang's Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You.
The revival of Keith Waterhouse's Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell, starring Peter O'Toole, is currently playing at the Old Vic. It continues until 25 September and is followed by Declan Donnellan's production of Sophocles' Antigone, starring Tara Fitzgerald, which runs from 11 October 1999 to 15 January 2000. Exact dates for Death of a Salesman have yet to be confirmed.