Manchester's Library Books Miller, Friel & DickensDate: 13 September 2005
Manchester’s Library Theatre has joined the ranks of those paying homage to the late Arthur Miller in its new autumn/winter season. Next month, it will revive Miller’s 1968 The Price as part of a schedule that also features Brian Friel, Charles Dickens and Shakespeare.
In The Price, 90-year-old furniture dealer Solomon is looking for a bargain. He engages his clients by forcing them into long-winded, philosophical discussions. When he finds himself in the middle of an uneasy reunion between two long estranged brothers, it seems he might have met his match.
The Price was revived in the West End two years ago in a production starring Warren Mitchell, who won an Olivier for his performance as Solomon. The new Library production, directed by Library artistic director Chris Honer, will run from 21 October to 19 November 2005.
Amongst the other high-profile Miller productions scheduled over the coming months are the Royal Shakespeare Company staging of The Crucible, Salisbury’s Playing for Time with Joanna Riding and the UK premiere of Miller’s second to last play Resurrection Blues, directed by Robert Altman at the Old Vic (See News, 8 Sep 2005). The Tony Award-winning transfer of Death of a Salesman, starring Brian Dennehy as Willy Loman, continues in the West End. Prior to his death at the age of 89 this past February (See News, 11 Feb 2005), Whatsonstage.com theatregoers voted Miller the world’s Greatest Living Playwright by Whatsonstage.com theatregoers.
Ahead of The Price, the Library will revive Irish playwright Brian Friel’s multi award-winning 1990 drama, Dancing at Lughnasa, which tells the story of five courageous sisters searching for happiness in 1930s Donegal. Directed by Roger Haines, it runs from 16 September to 15 October 2005.
Over Christmas, from 26 November 2005 to 21 January 2006, Haines (with Liam Steel) will direct Neil Bartlett’s dark stage version of Dickens’ 1837 literary classic Oliver Twist. Victorian London is brought to life with 24 scenes, songs and tableaux in Bartlett’s adaptation which was first seen at London’s Lyric Hammersmith in February 2004.
In the New Year, Chris Honer will direct Shakespeare’s classic battle of the sexes comedy Much Ado About Nothing, running from 10 February to 18 March 2006. The Library will also be visited by Lip Service comedy duo Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding with their latest, Horror for Wimps, from 24 January to 4 February 2005.
- by Caroline Ansdell & Terri Paddock