There’s something tragically heartwarming about Birmingham Ormiston Academy’s take on the thought-provoking play that is ‘Death of A Salesman’. With a truly dedicated ensemble, the cast produced a performance that highlighted the intricate inner workings of a family unit when affected by the urgent theme of mental health whilst altogether presenting the twisted ideals of the American dream.
Based in late 1940’s Brooklyn, Death of a Salesman follows the character Willy Loman, an ageing salesman, whose mind begins to deteriorate because of his financial stress and repressed anger towards his children. By blurring the past with the present, Willy retells his family’s history whilst displaying his loss of identity in a world he no longer feels he belongs in after being fired from his job.
The cramped Brooklyn apartment is displayed through a masterfully designed set, suspended from wires, that comes together to form a unique household which is expertly used to depict the family’s current state. When the family becomes progressively more disjointed, sections of the house are taken away, physically displaying the family’s tragic breakdown through the set. Other examples of this detailed symbolism can be seen numerous times throughout the play and perfectly depicts the amount of detail and effort that has gone into representing these characters in a classic and spectacular manner. The clear dedication to character paid off here and did not go unnoticed. For how long the principal characters are on stage, their strong stage presence always kept the audience captivated. I myself was in awe at the amount of raw emotion that was displayed on stage. The ensemble had great energy and provided comedic breaks that gave the audience a breath from the tension-filled scenes that are found in the play. It was highly evident that each and every performer was truly dedicated to the show, and that enthusiasm shone through in their performances.
Birmingham Ormiston Academy’s ‘Death of A Salesman’ is an extremely emotional and powerful piece of theatre, that at its centre holds strong emotive characters that will truly stay with you after the show. It is a profound production that truthfully demands to be watched. With a genuinely spectacular cast, ‘Death of A Salesman’ leaves the audience with a sense of admiration and fascination which altogether deserves an enormous amount of praise.
Written by Sophie, Birmingham Ormiston Academy Year 12 Acting