ARTHUR Miller’s 1949 Pulitzer/ Tony winning classic ‘Death of a Salesman’ is College Player’s big leap this year. Opening on November 7 in Lime Tree, College Players line out the heavy-lifters for this seminal text on the American Dream gone to rags, spiritually, materially for the central Loman family.
Liam O’Brien of Bottom Dog directs Brian McNamara as the fragmented pater familas Willy Loman. Rebecca Barry is his docile Linda; award winning novelist/ actor Dan Mooney fills out the shoulders of Biff, elder son of failed promise. Lee Dillon is Happy, messy, sexually rampant. There are others, neighbours, girls.
These actors, “the core four” are being pressed to their marrow by O’Brien to give Miller’s sentient savagery what it deserves.
O’Brien is right for the gig. A skilled high octane performer, he’s a ready narrator in life on matters of the psyche, soul and social. He takes no prisoners and this is the rigour by which he approaches rehearsals with “a 13 strong cast, the largest we have seen in a long time.” Much lies with Brian McNamara in setting the dynamic “about family, about loss, dreams. And emotionally it is one of the most resonant works”.
“Death of a Salesman takes the audience on a journey, they will be challenged…”
Rounding out the players to which Willy’s unravelling, delusional belief in the world and his flashbacks are catalyst, meet College stalwarts Dave Griffin, Paul McNamara, Rachel Griffin, Padhraic Hastings. Paul Fitzgerald joins for the first time as Bernard; Paddy Kelly returns again. What is Liam to their alchemies with Miller’s weary consideration of American values post-war? Experience sings: Limerick Youth Theatre, MIDAS and Origins Festival NY Best Play.
“I’ve directed in New York, directed with Bottom Dog, with MIDAS. I am a collaborative person, a set of eyes and ears primarily. I use my own experience to guide, encourage them to be braver, take risks. I don’t think they have ever been pushed so hard.”
He feels there is reward in same bravery and thus grafted in the relentlessly able Jacinta Florish (Limerick Musical Society, Cecilians) for costuming and Dave O’Brien to light.
“Yes, this is very much an American play of the 1940s and flashbacks into the ‘30s.” Her influence in representing distinct eras will be amped up by techie O’Brien who lit Island Theatre Company’s many shows. “Dave has worked with world-class theatre companies”.
Their new perspectives help fuel the creativity along with Gerry Lombard, set designer and Mike O’Regan, stage manager.
www.limetreetheatre.ie to see how College will master this masterpiece from November 7 to 11 @8pm. Bundle discount Nov 8.