On the 20th of November, a group of avid theatre goers went to London to see the Young Vic’s production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. The group set off at 4.15 pm, travelling to cold and dark London to see the play. Most of the Sixth Form students who went on the trip are studying English at A level, so Miller’s play, about the downfall of an ageing salesman from New York in 1940s America, presented many useful themes for coursework.
Clever staging and brilliant acting allowed the audience to see the stages of Willy Loman’s life through flashbacks, from his two sons’ adolescence and the promising ‘football’ career of Biff, before his eventual downfall, to the peak of his sales career. These flashbacks alternated with the present, allowing Willy’s downfall to be represented through these memories that seemed to be haunting him as a man. One of the most relevant themes in the play seemed to be the desire for success, yet Willy’s exhaustion begins to hold him back from such success, which pains him greatly. Miller was not exactly on the side of individualistic prosperity and capitalism, which is very much portrayed in his work, and in a time where the world was torn apart by war, Miller was determined to present individual wealth as the separation of society.
Loman’s subsequent death was incredibly moving and left an effect on all the students present. The production was incredible and enjoyed by all. Not only has it been incredibly useful for coursework, but it was also a great (though chilly) evening out. Many thanks must go to Mrs Porter and Mrs Horley, for taking the group to such an amazing play.