Last night my friend Phil and I went down to Penrith to the Q Theatre, to see Sean Taylor and Jacki Weaver in Arthur Miller's classic American play, Death of a Salesman. I've seen some great theatre in the Q over the years, and I've seen some lousy theatre as well, and last night was definitely in the former category. With the exception of a couple of slightly uneven New York accents, this was a very well directed production of a wonderful play by a great playwright.
Sean Taylor played the deluded, angry, decaying-before-our-eyes Willie Loman, and Jacki Weaver played his wife Linda (Weaver and Taylor are real-life partners, by the way). But the standout for me was Anthony Gooley as Biff. The big kitchen scene at the end had me feeling breathless and claustrophobic, thanks mainly to him. Fantastic, goose-bumpy stuff.
Most interesting to me was the rustle that went around the audience when the character of Uncle Ben walked on-stage. Ben was played by Norman Coburn, who for many years played the part of grumpy old principal Don Fisher on Home and Away. A number of the audience were Yr 12 students from a local high school, who are studying the play for their HSC, and of course they recognised Old Flathead Fisher straight away. Which they then proceeded to point out to one another. It must really suck to be forever defined by one role.
PS: Judith Ridge, you're a slacker for not going. Seriously. Call yourself a literature expert, and you've never even seen Death of a Salesman. Hah! You've been outed!