Miller Time at The Octagon, with The Price
Date: 17 February 2011
Following the highly acclaimed Arthur Miller productions, All My Sons, Death Of A Salesman, Broken Glass and A View From The Bridge, the Octagon Theatre Bolton presents the great American playwrights's The Price. This production will be directed by David Thacker, who had a close working relationship with the playwright. Miller said of their relationship: “Not I alone, but theatre itself owes much to David Thacker.”
Octagon Artistic Director, David Thacker, directed many of Arthur Miller’s plays during his time as Artistic Director for The Young Vic. In 1990, whilst rehearsing The Price, he was lucky enough to have Miller in attendance at rehearsals during the last ten days of the process. This enabled David to get a real insight into how The Price was originally envisioned by the writer. David commented on the experience: “He (Miller) took us through the text moment by moment, clarifying anything that confused us, describing many of the impulses that led him to write the play. He was a remarkable man – charismatic, kind, intelligent, generous and very funny. He helped us to dig deep to find the pain and grief at the heart of the play whilst remaining alert to its wit and humour.”
Performed in the intimate theatre-in-the-round space of the Octagon auditorium, The Price sees Arthur Miller at his explosive best with a compassionate family drama that is funny, surprising and heart-rending. The Price examines the relationship between two brothers dealing with the sacrifices they have both made throughout their lives.
In the attic of a soon to be demolished house in 1968 New York, the two brothers Victor and Walter meet for the first time in sixteen years to sell off the possessions left by their deceased father. Reunited after years of misunderstanding, they set about dealing with the pain that lies at the heart of their estranged relationship. As they confront their history, eighty-nine year old furniture dealer, Solomon (one of Arthur Miller’s greatest comic creations), haggles over the remnants of their lives ready to offer a fair deal. After all, everything has a price.
Playing the role of Solomon, will be Kenneth Alan Taylor. Kenneth’s theatrical career spans fifty-six years, both treading the boards and behind the scenes - he has twice been the Chief Executive at Oldham Coliseum Theatre and enjoyed seven years as Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse. Kenneth has appeared in nearly three hundred productions at Oldham Coliseum Theatre and has numerous television credits to his name. He has also written, directed and appeared in the traditional pantomime at the Nottingham Playhouse for many years, and has directed national tours and two productions in the West End.
Joining him on stage will be Colin Stinton and Tom Mannion playing the two brothers, Walter and Victor Franz. Colin Stinton has an extensive background working in both theatre and film here in the UK and in America, appearing in films such as The Bourne Ultimatum, The Hours and Tomorrow Never Dies to mention just a few. He previously appeared on the Octagon stage in Oleanna in 2009, for which he received an MEN Theatre Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Tom Mannion’s television credits include Brookside, The Bill, Spooks, Taggart and Lip Service. Tom has also worked in theatre and films, including the epic film franchise Star Wars, playing the Stardestroyer Captain in Return Of The Jedi.
Victor’s wife, Esther, will be played by Suzan Sylvester. Blackpool-born Suzan has previously worked with David Thacker at the Young Vic Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing the role of Marina in his 1991 RSC production of Pericles that won Olivier Awards for Best Director and Best Revival.
The Price is at the Bolton Octagon from 10 March - 2 April
- by Glenn Meads
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