Roseanne Star Features in All My Sons ReturnDate: 13 June 2001
The Royal National Theatre's Olivier-laden production of All My Sons is returning to London, with Laurie Metcalf replacing Julie Walters. The play will commence at the National's Lyttelton on 7 August, with previews from 28 July, having previously enjoyed a sell-out run at the Cottesloe.
Metcalf is the great-niece of Missouri screenwriter Zoe Akins, whose numerous works included How to Marry a Millionaire. As one of the founders of Illinois' renowned Steppenwolf Theatre, Metcalf's early career found her performing alongside John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. Despite perhaps being best known for her role as Jackie in the TV series Roseanne, Metcalf has also appeared in such films as Desperately Seeking Susan (which marked her debut), Leaving Las Vegas, Pacific Heights and Timecode. She has just completed a run of Jane Anderson’s Looking for Normal opposite Beau Bridges at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Two actors who starred in the Cottesloe version, Ben Daniels and James Hazeldine, will reprise their roles. Daniels (Best Supporting Actor) and Walters (Best Actress), both received an Olivier for their contributions. Other recipients were Howard Davies for Best Director and William Dudley for Best Designer. Daniels made his National Theatre debut in this production and recently played the lead role in Tales From Hollywood at the Donmar. Film and television works include Fanny and Elvis, Beautiful Thing and Aristocrats. Among Hazeldine's numerous leads for the National, RSC and Royal Court are Harry Hope in The Iceman Cometh (Almeida, Old Vic and Broadway).
Arthur Miller is believed to have based the play around a true story from World War Two, when a manufacturer knowingly allowed defective tank parts to be shipped out. Miller's drama centres on Joe Keller, a man who has sacrificed his honour to maintain his family's prosperity. His wife, Kate, has managed to hide her knowledge of Joe's previous crimes, but things come to a head when their son decides to marry the former fiancée of his lost brother. Miller won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his major work Death of a Salesman, and his other celebrated plays include The Crucible and A View From the Bridge.
Director Howard Davies numbers The Crucible, Battle Royal and Chips with Everything among his previous National offerings. Other recent works are the award-winning The Iceman Cometh and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The set designer is William Dudley, with lighting by Mark Henderson, music from Dominic Muldowney and sound by Paul Groothius.
-by Gareth Thompson