It starts slowly but, through the strength of Llewelyn-Williams’ performance and writing, you are soon gripped by his tale as it builds in excitement, mixing heart-breaking tragedy with uplifting hope about human endurance. Directed by Joshua Richards, it is a beautifully crafted show that casts a spell that stays with you long after it is over.
The role of Willy Loman is very exacting, requiring great range and subtlety from the actor. The single greatest requirement, though, is for the actor to be Loman rather than to play him; there needs to be total immersion in the character, and the character’s different stages. It must be possible to see the Loman who so enthralled and impressed his sons, the Loman who believed in the Dream and to contrast that against the Loman who is engulfed, diminished, destroyed. Antony Sher gives a prickly, vigorous, erratically explosive performance. He might wear Loman’s skin but he never gets under it.