The Price Review

Rating
4
Show details
Company
Royal Lyceum Theatre
Production
John Dove (director), Michael Taylor (designer), Jeannie Davies(lighting designer), Lynn Bains (dialest coach), Claire Williamson (deputy stage manager)
Performers
Greg Powrie (Victor Franz), Aden Gillett (Walter Franz), Sally Edwards (Esther Franz), James Hayes (Gregory Solomon)
Running time
160mins

The American playwright Arthur Miller is an absolute master of psychological drama. In The Price, which was written in 1968 and was Miller's last major Broadway success, estranged brothers Victor and Walter Franz arrange to meet in the family home for the first time since their father's death sixteen years before.

Their father was a wealthy businessman who lost everything in the 1929 Wall Street crash reducing the family to penury, resonant of Miller's own childhood.

Victor and his wife Esher are now short of money and have arranged for all the contents of the house to be bought by Gregory Solomon, an antique dealer.

The stage set in The Price is magnificent with great attention to detail.  Vast Victorian chests adorn the stage, knickknacks are piled on top, clocks abound, and there is a beautifully carved wardrobe with antique dresses inside - all reminiscent of an opulent lifestyle the family once had.  As Victor peruses the contents reminding him of his past Solomon haggles for his right price in the present.

The acting is superb.  Greg Powrie as Victor is the frustrated brother who abandoned his dreams and became a policeman to support his poverty-stricken father, only to discover at this meeting that his father had stashed away thousands.

Sally Edwards portrayal of the long-suffering wife is excellent. Aden Gillett gives a powerful performance of the successful Walter - enhancing the disparity between the siblings.  And James Hayes is perfect as Solomon, the obsequious, amusing Jewish antique dealer.

This is a powerful production.  And of course the genius of Arthur Miller's writing is that the subjects of his plays transcend the decades and are relevant at any time.

The Price runs until 13 February, 7.45pm