Rediscover one of the greatest plays of the 20th Century as Hearth Theatre presents an intimate new production of Arthur Miller’s heartbreaking masterpiece Death of a Salesman at fortyfivedownstairs in February.
Featuring an extraordinary ensemble of Melbourne actors and directed by Christopher Tomkinson (The Crucible for Sport For Jove), renowned actor Paul English (Henry V and As You Like It for Pop-Up Globe, and Ivanov for fortyfivedownstairs) takes on the iconic and monumental role of Willy Loman, “a salesman with his feet on the subway stairs, and his head in the stars.”
“For me, Willy’s journey as an Everyman trying to make a living in precarious work, battling with the System and with himself, still speaks to us today, and embodies our shared humanity,” says English.
“His fracturing mind is a dark jungle for an actor to explore – and to find treasures within. It’s a privilege to have that task and to work with an inspiring, young ensemble in this playful and rigorous process – heading for the precious space that is fortyfivedownstairs.”
The long-gestating rehearsal process behind this new production (the cast have already been working together for months) is a unique one, based on the revolutionary methodology developed by renowned English theatre-maker Mike Alfreds.
Alfreds’ processes are a balance of specific, disciplined exercises and instinctive explorations that are designed to help the actor anchor deeply and viscerally into the given circumstances of the play.
“Hearth theatre seeks to bring a fresh and vital voice to Melbourne’s theatrical landscape,” says performer/producer Charlie Cousins (Arms and The Man for STC), who’ll be playing Biff Loman opposite English’s Willy.
“For the last few years, I’ve been working with Alfreds, who has spent his life (through his theatre company Shared Experience) rehearsing plays in such a way that they can be truly fresh and alive each night.”
“His approach is to immerse the actors so thoroughly in the world of the play that they’ll have ‘the complete confidence and ability to play with freedom and spontaneity at every performance, living in the moment in a continuous creative flow.’ Every moment of this show will be free to go where it needs to,” says Cousins.
Director: Christopher Tomkinson | Featuring: Rebekah Carton, Charlie Cousins, Kim Denman, Tas Dimitrakakis, Ross Dwyer, Paul English, Margot Knight, Juan Fernando Monge, Vivian Nguyen, Anthony O’Connell, Berk Ozturk, Kevin Summers | Set and Costume Designer: Adrienne Chisholm | Lighting Designer: Shane Grant | Voice and Dialect Coach: Matt Furlani | Co-Producers: Natasha Marich, Ben Andrews, Charlie Cousins
Death of a Salesman
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 5 – 27 February 2022 (previews: 3 & 4 February)
For more information, visit: www.hearththeatre.com for details.
Image: Death of a Salesman – photo by Stephen Cunnington