Compass Tours Salesman for 20th AnniversaryDate: 3 August 2001
Compass Theatre Company celebrates its 20th anniversary year with a large-scale tour of Arthur Miller's (pictured) Death of a Salesman. The production opens at Chester Gateway on 20 September 2001 before calling at nine other venues through to December 2001.
The company was founded in 1981 by artistic director Neil Sissons to mount a show at the Edinburgh festival. In the mid-1980s, Compass formed a creative ensemble of actors to produce performances of classic and epic texts. Tours throughout Britain and Europe followed, featuring productions of Macbeth, Spartacus, The Alchemist, Waiting for Godot and Krapp's Last Tape.
Arts Council funding in the 1990s enabled the team to mount a double bill of Hamlet and King Lear for seven months in the UK followed by a Japanese stint. Versions of Hedda Gabler, Wind in the Willows and the rarely performed Woyzeck followed, plus a Beckett Festival in Compass' hometown of Sheffield.
Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915. His writing career began at the University of Michigan, and he produced his first major success, All My Sons, in 1947. Death of a Salesman followed two years later and won the Pulitzer Prize, bringing his work to a wide audience and Broadway success. Arguably his most famous work, the play centres on the conflicts within a family, materialism and notions of the American Dream.
Following the Chester opening, Compass’ production calls at Wakefield, Worcester, Glasgow, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Edinburgh, Bury St Edmunds, Aberdeen, Swansea and Sheffield.
- by Gareth Thompson