Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Suits, Selma) makes his West End stage debut as Willy Loman, with Olivier Award-winning Sharon D. Clarke as Linda Loman.
Following a sold out run at the Young Vic theatre, the smash hit, critically acclaimed production of Death of a Salesman transfers to the Piccadilly Theatre for 10 weeks only.
"I don't say he's a great man…but he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person."
Following her recent award-winning successes on Company and Angels in America, Marianne Elliott co-directs Death of a Salesman with Miranda Cromwell, who worked as Associate Director on both shows. Together, they bring a unique vision to one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century, seen through the eyes of an African-American family.
★★★★★ 'This masterpiece resonates and devastates afresh' Daily Telegraph
★★★★★ ‘A fresh revival of an old great’ The Times
★★★★★ ‘Fresh, compassionate and ultimately devastating.’ Evening Standard
I am not really a huge fan of the spoken word play, preferring musicals; but this was amazing.
Outstanding acting and directing.
saw the play on the penultimate night - by which time the actors were perhaps jaded. the one exception being the magnificent sharon d clarke. the actor playing willy loman mainly barked his lines out angrily and, apart from the scene with howard, achieved little pathos. i have no words to describe the inaudibility and lack of competence of the actor playing biff. apart from the music the scene in the restaurant was excruciating. it was a very old-fashioned production. having black actors did add an extra dimension to the social comment of the play but not enough to make up for an underwhelming production of a great play
Badly directed, boring play made more boring by boring set - why did I go? Felt assured it would be good, some actor friends said it was great, but ... Some performers were great of course, the lead, but patchy otherwise, too shouty. Yes disappointing.
A riveting performance by Wendell Pierce, clinging to his dreams to the bitter end with the energy of anger and desperation. Profoundly moving. All the actors were brilliant; the staging minimal and yet full of meaning and metaphor: domestic appliances and furniture hanging on threads from the ceiling, as is the protagonist's life.
It was a real experience, with outstanding stage sets, enchanting musical touches and superb acting. Starting at a gentle, everyday pace, the tension built up relentlessly to an incredible climax, making the most gripping hollywood movie feel tame. A truly great interpretation of Death of a Salesman.
One of the most mesmerising, intense plays I have ever seen. The incredible cast kept us spellbound all the way through A fabulous evening
Very good. Still relevant today in world. Translated well from white 50s America to Black 50s America. A particularly strong performance from Linda.
An engaging production which blends the powerful speech in the play with softening song and musical interludes. It was quite intense. I enjoyed it.
The performance was amazing and surprising! I loved the arguing and choice of actors- placing it within black American culture was truly impelling. The actors playing Willy and Linda were superb. I would recommend this highly.
A fantastic reinvention of a great play. Acting was amazing and very powerful. Best play I’ve seen in years.
I have not seen such an emotionally charged perfomance as this in a long while
This is a play I know really well, having taught it many times. I can honestly say that this production is one of the finest that I have ever witnessed. The principal actors are all superb and the direction draws our attention to some of the dramatic "nooks and crannies" of the play - a lovely little exchange at the start of Act 2 suggests that the Willy-Linda relationship remains a passionate one; Happy's narcissism is rooted in the fact that he has lived in the shadow of the statuesque Biff; the incidental music is rooted, aptly enough, in the Blues. The casting of black actors in the four main roles means that familiar scenes are given a new resonance: Howard Wagner's repellent lack of empathy is "racialised" when he recoils at Willy's touch in Act 2. An amazing evening - I felt privileged to witness this brilliant production.
A very successful re-setting of this classic play - powerful performances from every single member of the cast - very thought- provoking and sad. Made me even more determined not to miss important moments with those people I love which can have a long term effect - good or bad Not to be missed
A great experience. An emotional roller coaster. A story for all ethnic groups and socio-economic types for yesterday, today and tomorrow.
A great experience. An emotional roller coaster. A story for all ethnic groups and socio-economic types for yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Powerful performance spoilt by the temperature in the Royal Circle. It was simple far too hot and worse still no one could do anything about it. Don’t buy a seat in the Royal Circle!
Wonderful cast, beautiful writing, brilliant direction. Superb production. I was mesmerised all the way through.
From start to finish - superb. I salute all the actors for their efforts. Their performances are superb. 'Old Skool' theatre at its finest.
Wonderfully acted. Fantastic story and best play I’ve ever seen. Definitely a must see. Got lost in the story watching this, that’s how good it is. 10/10.
I enjoyed a lot Such unforgettable experience
Most moving and emotional play this year. The acting of all the cast was outstanding. Direction brilliant.
A great interpretation of a classic. Wonderful performances and Sope Dirisu as Biff was especially worth watching. Recommended.
When I saw the length of the performance I thought I’m not sure about this but....it grabbed me from the start and the momentum carried on throughout the play. There were excellent, moving performances throughout. The set was clever too. I highly recommend this play.
The acting was just stunning. Moving and compelling. The play was 3 1,2 hours long but it just flew by. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
Great play of course delivered in a creative, moving and fresh way. Much to enjoy.
The fifth time I have seen DOAS professionally, and the best. Congratulations to Marianne and Miranda on brilliant direction. The whole cast were superb. Miller would have been proud of all of you. Applause to all production staff. Great set. Congrats to Sharon who made a 75 year old cynic actually cry. Also the best Charlie ever. Wendell, don't go back to New Orleans, stay here, and do Lear, Richard 111 etc. Thanks Sope and Natey
Academy award acting. A black cast made the play far more authentic. Loved the collection at the end. Audience was totally blown away. In these sad times this play should come with a warning that it contains suicidal themes. Be warned - Piccadilly Theatre has very little space between the rows.
It's well acted and the performance is good but it's not an uplifting story and you don't leave the theatre in good spirits. The staging is minimal and I think the ticket were overpriced.
An awesome reimagining of the classic American play. Wonderful direction, superb acting by the whole cast but especially by the four "Lomans". You moved me deeply and are still in my head two days later. Last Wednesday's matinee was interrupted close to the end by a member of the audience in distress. The play was suspended for twenty minutes and then resumed. The technical brilliance of the cast was amazing in returning the audience instantly to the emotions of that final scene. Breathtaking.
Really enjoyed this play, an inventive remake of the original story. Amazing acting. Slightly disappointed on pricing for wine and ice cream, but this is the same for most London theatres.
The Play’s the Thing Only after sitting through Samuel West’s Hamlet as a sixth former did I finally ‘get it’: what tragedy is really all about. Not the number of syllables in a line or who’s soliloquising when, or where, or exactly why there’s another possible moment of anagnorisis. All of this scrupulous deciphering of the text becomes seemingly irrelevant once you’re sat in the auditorium and experienced first hand, the almost tangible and incredibly harrowing emotions of all the characters on stage. For our sixth formers, there was a real buzz in the air as we made our way to the West End on the eve of the election: our fears undoubtedly amplified by all the noise reverberating up and down the country. But for Miller’s tragedy of the common man, ‘Death of A Salesman’, we were not to be transported to the lofty heights of chivalric castles; there was nothing ‘rotten in the state of Denmark’ this evening, no smiling villains tonight (at least not on this stage). Instead we found ourselves claustrophobically squashed into the Grand Circle of the Picadilly Theatre, checking out the repair work on the ceiling (the cast quite literally brought the house down on the opening night). Plastering sorted - the show must go on! As the curtain rose, I was reminded again of my own 6th form trip to see Samuel West’s Hamlet: minimalist, grey, angular...surely not another Orwellian reinterpretation of an A level set text tragedy? The boundaries of the Loman brother’s bedroom marked out with what looked like concrete slabs, uncannily similar to the battlements of Elsinore that jutted out from the stage floor of the Barbican at the turn of the century; I found myself wistfully consuming yet another brutally stark set design reflecting the political unrest of the times. So, not too many decades later, looking down on the Loman’s family home without walls, (a dream rising out of reality), I knew my students were sure to experience that very same purging of emotions as we sat up in the gods, faced with the imposing ‘towering, angular shapes’ of Brooklyn apartment buildings, trapped for three gruelling hours of brilliant drama. We all shared a truly tragic experience: we shared the Loman family’s fears for every unstoppable minute of Wendell Pierce’s phenomenal interpretation of Willy’s inevitable demise. By Act 2 the sobbing in the auditorium was so audible, that the ‘it’ we were all trying to ‘get’ resounded contagiously over the flute playing, swapped with a saxophone for this 21st century interpretation otherwise solidly grounded in the text. Much like your exam essays will be now that you know the play so well :-) you’ve got this! Ms Berkin, Deputy Head of English, The West Bridgford School
A refreshing, respectful and responsive portrait of Arthur Miller's timeless play, Death of a Salesman. The frailties of the 'American Dream' was played out by each actor with authenticity and honesty. The lead characters were particularly awesome, tragic and compelling. I was totally engrossed and thoroughly entertained for the whole duration of the play.
In a play balancing so many themes already, adding the extra element of race could be seen as extra clutter and could easily come off as heavy handed when compared to the subtle brilliance of the original's writing. However, the director has handled this elegantly without beating us over the head with the message and sacrificing the other themes at the same time. It fits perfectly underneath the already heavy layers of material already present whilst being strong enough to leave the audience wandering how the Lomans are affected by a world that doesn't want them. Are they to accept their place without a shout, or should they try and break the mould, even if mould is actually what makes them happy?
Again Marianne Elliott is to focused on the visual elements of staging that she forgets to let her actors act. There was a distinct lack of passion in performance which you felt were over directed or incorrectly led. Also great idea to cast black actors - but why then place them in a fictional America where they would never be living next to middle class and wealthy white folks? Segregation was completely ignored which made this play ridiculous. Should have been an all black cast for authenticity. Brilliant actors led on the wrong path by an overrated and poor director who needs to learn how to work with actors.
Great rendition. Captivating performance by all actors.
I read good reviews and was not disappointed. Magnificent acting. Had to remind myself to breathe
What a treat! Death of a Salesman was a mesmerising performance with quite outstanding individual roles. A real sense of family with every actor completely immersed in their character. This is a production I shall treasure....
Totally absorbing, devastating rendition of the classic. Performances off the scale. A once in a lifetime experience.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, please try and see before this production ends.
Don’t miss this. A fantastic production with world class performances from the entire cast
Moving description of life’s struggles with themes that have endured for decades
What a wonderful piece of theatre, beautifully acted and superbly put together. Standing ovation for the great cast.
I hadn't read the play but was utterly transfixed as I didn't have the baggage I'd read others may experience according to some 'critics'. The performances were moving from Will and Linda. Being wedded to a failed (perceived) career and life of drudgery with no hope of betterment (for themselves) really came across. A play for the reflective.
Overall very moving. A little unclear at times passion getting in the way of the text. Looks like it was directed from the mid to front stalls with the critics in mind. Definitely a good theatrical experience though.
Haunting play brought to life by very talented actors. Always wanted to see this play and it did not disappoint. It is over 3 hours running time so be aware of that!
We all thoroughly enjoyed this thought provoking play . The acting was exceptionally mind blowingly good ... I applaud the actors. Bravo !
I have to admit the show was slightly too drawn out. Also the theatre needs to staff more people behind the bars
16 Denman Street, London, W1D 7DY
No Exchanges, no refunds after purchase.
2hrs 45 mins
Suitable For Children
Children under 5 years and babes in arms will not be admitted.
When Can I Go
24th October 2019 - 4th January 2020