Arthur Miller’s The Price Reveals The Cost Of Life Decisions

Image: Nobby Clark

Arthur Miller’s 1968 play The Price may not be as celebrated as the likes of Death of a Salesman or All My Sons, but it’s another substantial work dealing with family conflict, moral choices and the flaws of the capitalist system. It also contains an uncharacteristically large amount of humour.

Image: Nobby Clark

The drama revolves around two brothers, Victor and Walter Franz, one a beat cop coming up to retirement, the other a prosperous careerist surgeon. They meet for the first time in 16 years to sell their family furniture stored in the attic of a condemned New York brownstone. Longstanding simmering resentments rise to the surface as we learn of the devastating effects the Wall Street Crash had on the family’s fortunes and relationships.

Image: Nobby Clark

Jonathan Church’s excellent, slow-burning production retains our attention in a long play that tends towards the verbose and over-explanatory, but powerfully shows the price people pay for their key decisions in life. Simon Higlett’s extraordinary, cluttered design includes antique furniture literally hanging over the characters like the legacy of their past experiences.

Image: Nobby Clark

Brendan Coyle and Adrian Lukis compellingly convey the deep-seated tensions between the estranged brothers, with Sara Stewart as Victor’s dissatisfied wife Esther caught in the middle. But it is David Suchet, playing the wily 89-year-old Russian-Jewish furniture dealer Gregory Solomon, who steals the show with his vaudevillian-style patter, giving the play much-needed comic relief.

The Price, Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road,  WC2H 0DA. Tickets £14.75–£127.25, until 27 April 2019.

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