Death of a Salesman (London) [Poster]

Death of a Salesman
(West End of London)

DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller began paid previews at the Lyric Theatre in London’s West End on May 10, 2005, official opening night of May 16 and closed on November 5, 2005 after a run of 175 paid shows. This was a remount of the 1999 Broadway production, using the same creative team and some of the starring cast (where permitted by British Actors Equity)

Produced by Delphi Productions (David Richenthal, Anthony D. Marshall, Charlene T. Marshall, Francis X. Morrisey Jr., John G. Popp, Arthur Richenthal & Toby Simkin); Produced by David Richenthal, Anthony D. Marshall and Charlene Marshall; Associate Produced by Toby Simkin; Original Producer: the Goodman Theatre.  Presented by Really Useful Theatres, and later by NiMax

Directed by Robert Falls; Incidental Music by Richard Woodbury; Fight Direction by Terry King; Set Design by Mark Wendland; Costume Design by Birgit Rattenborg Wise; Lighting Design by Michael S. Philippi and Sound Design by Richard Woodbury.

STARRING Brian Dennehy (Willy Loman); Clare Higgins (Linda Loman); Douglas Henshall (Biff); Mark Bazeley (Happy); Howard Witt (Charley); Steve Pickering (Howard); Allen Hamilton (Uncle Ben); Jonathan Aris (Bernard); Noah Lee Margett (Stanley); Samantha Coughlan (Miss. Forsythe); Eleanor Howell (Letta); Victoria Lennox (Jenny); Abigail McKern  (The Woman).

WITH Victoria Lennox (Standby for Linda Loman); Shane Attwooll (understudy for Biff); Noah Lee Margetts (understudy for Happy); Kenneth Jay (understudy for Uncle Ben and Charley); Joseph Rye (understudy for Stanley, Bernard and Howard); Sarah Mennell (understudy for Miss. Forsythe, Letta, Woman and Jenny).

Associate Set Designer: Andy Edwards; Assistant to the Lighting Designer: Prema Mehta; Assistant Director: Emma Stuart; Dialect and Vocal Coach: Joan Washington; Casting by Joyce Nettles; Stage Managed by Jeremy Brookman; Deputy Staged Managed by Nicole Walker; Assistant Stage Managed by Kristy Bloxham and Paul Thomson.

General Managed by Cole Kitchenn and Guy Kitchenn; Company Managed by Monica McCabe; Management Associate: David Cole and Stuart Piper; General Manager (NYC): Albert Poland; Online Marketing by Toby Simkin; Promotions and Sponsorship by Milktwosugars; Advertising by Dewynters; Press Representative: Peter Thompson Associates; Photographer: Catherine Ashmore.

Technical Direction by Crosbie Marlow Associates; Technical Director: Stewart Crosbie; Technical Consultant (USA): Gene O’Donovan; Production Carpenter: Michael Murray; Automation Operator: Anthony Dolan; Head Mechanist: Paul Craven; Head Rigger: Ken Mehmed; Production Electrician: Keith Johnston; Production Sound Engineer: John Owens; Wardrobe Supervisor: Alison White; Deputy Wardrobe: David Thorne; Costume Construction by Carelli Costumes; Head of Wigs: Linda McKnight; Wigs: Sarah Louise Packham; Sound Board Operator: Sean Knowles; Production Assistant: Steven Bender.

Assistant to Mr. Richenthal: Judy Insel; Assistant to Mr. Falls: Katherine Kovner; Assistant to the Producers: Erica Meyer; Legal Counsel: Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo and Elliot Brown; Work Visa Lawyer Philip Hindley; Insurance by Walton & Parkinson; Accounting by Haines Watts Halperns; Scenery Construction by Terry Murphy International; Masking & Soft Goods by Gererts; Automation by Delstar Engineering; Automation Control by Silicon Theatre Scenery; Rigging by Vertigo Rigging; Lighting Supply by White Light and Sound Equipment by Autograph Sound.

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   Death of a Salesman (London) [Poster] DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller (London West End) starring Brian Dennehy DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller (London West End) starring Brian Dennehy DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller (London West End) starring Brian Dennehy DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller (London West End) starring Brian Dennehy DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller (London West End) starring Brian DennehyDEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Athur Miller writing London DOAS Opening ShaftesburyDeath of a Salesman Arthur Millers working notebook circa 1948DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 01 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 02 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 03 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 04 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 05 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 06 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 07 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 08 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 09 Photo by Alistair Muir DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 10 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 11 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 12 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 13 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 14 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 15 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 16 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 17 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 18 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 19 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 20 Photo by Catherine Ashmore DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo scene 21 Photo by Catherine AshmoreDEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Opening Night Brian Dennehy DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Opening Night David Richenthal DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Opening Night Judi Dench DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Opening Night Producers DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Opening Night Robert Falls  London DOAS Opening Party London DOAS Opening Boobies DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Lyric marquee 1 DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Lyric marquee 2 DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Lyric marquee 3 DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Lyric marquee 4 London DOAS Opening Shaftesbury Avenue Lyric Theatre Toby.jpg London DOAS Opening Opening cocktails Toby.jpgDEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Arthur Miller DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Abigail Mckern DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Brian Dennehy DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Clare Higgins DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Douglas Henshall DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Eleanor Howell DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Howard Witt DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Jonathan Aris DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Joseph Rye DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Mark Bazeley DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Noah Lee Margetts DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Samantha Coughlan DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Sarah Mennell DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Shane Attwooll DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Stephen Pickering DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London headshot Victoria Lennox

What the critics had to say…

MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, “As fine a rendering of the play as one could hope for…Brian Dennehy plays Willy superbly.

ALASTAIR MACAULAY for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, “Dennehy…is very fine in projecting Willy Loman’s mental fixations, his energy and his sporadic charm. By the end of the play he has overdone certain actorly devices, but it’s still a riveting performance….Clare Higgins is simple, spontaneous and heart-catching.

BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, It is a memorable performance [Brian Dennehy] that builds slowly but achieves extraordinary highs…..”What a remarkable play it is....”

CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, “Magnificent production…there is not a moment when one isn’t moved, gripped, and at times appalled by the sheer raging pain on stage. Not a performance rings false, not a word seems superfluous to requirements. You leave the theatre in no doubt that you have witnessed a great, possibly THE great, American tragedy.

PETER HEPPLE for THE STAGE says, “Falls and his production team, including designer Mark Wendland, are certainly due their share of the success of this outstanding version of Arthur Miller’s great play.”

Death of a Salesman Awards:

  • OLIVIER AWARD NOMINATION for Best Revival to Delphi Productions
    (David Richenthal, Anthony D. Marshall, Charlene T. Marshall, Francis X. Morrisey Jr., John G. Popp, Arthur Richenthal & Toby Simkin)
  • OLIVIER AWARD WINNER for Best Actor to Brian Dennehy
  • OLIVIER AWARD NOMINATION for Best Actress to Claire Higgins

Death of a Salesman Synopsis: 

Salesman Willy Loman finds his career crumbling and his relationships with his wife and sons severely tested in Arthur Miller’s dream-like meditation on the cost of the American dream.

Willy Loman returns home exhausted after a business trip he has cancelled. Worried over Willy’s state of mind and recent car accident, his wife Linda suggests that he ask his boss Howard Wagner to allow him to work in his home city so he will not have to travel. Willy complains to Linda that their son, Biff, has yet to make good on his life. Despite Biff’s promise as a football star in high school, he failed in mathematics and was unable to enter a university.

Biff and his younger brother, Happy, who is temporarily staying with Willy and Linda after Biff’s unexpected return from the West, reminisce about their childhood together. They discuss their father’s mental degeneration, which they have witnessed in the form of his constant indecisiveness and daydreaming about the boys’ high school years. Willy walks in, angry that the two boys have never amounted to anything. In an effort to pacify their father, Biff and Happy tell their father that Biff plans to make a business proposition the next day.

The next day, Willy goes to ask his boss, Howard, for a job in town while Biff goes to make a business proposition, but both fail. Willy gets angry and ends up getting fired when the boss tells him he needs a rest and can no longer represent the company. Biff waits hours to see a former employer who does not remember him and turns him down. Biff impulsively steals a fountain pen. Willy then goes to the office of his neighbor Charley, where he runs into Charley’s son Bernard, now a successful lawyer. Bernard tells him that Biff originally wanted to go to summer school to make up for failing math, but something happened in Boston when Biff went to visit his father that changed his mind. Charley gives the now-unemployed Willy money to pay his life-insurance premium. Willy shocks Charley by remarking that ultimately, a man is “worth more dead than alive.”

Happy, Biff, and Willy meet for dinner at a restaurant, but Willy refuses to hear bad news from Biff. Happy tries to get Biff to lie to their father. Biff tries to tell him what happened as Willy gets angry and slips into a flashback of what happened in Boston the day Biff came to see him. Willy had been having an affair with a receptionist on one of his sales trips when Biff unexpectedly arrived at Willy’s hotel room. A shocked Biff angrily confronted his father, calling him a liar and a fraud. From that moment, Biff’s views of his father changed and set him adrift.

Biff leaves the restaurant in frustration, followed by Happy and two girls that Happy picked up. They leave a confused and upset Willy behind in the restaurant. When they later return home, their mother angrily confronts them for abandoning their father while Willy remains outside, talking to himself. Biff tries unsuccessfully to reconcile with Willy, but the discussion quickly escalates into another argument. Biff conveys plainly to his father that he is not meant for anything great, insisting that both of them are simply ordinary men meant to lead ordinary lives. The feud reaches an apparent climax with Biff hugging Willy and crying as he tries to get Willy to let go of the unrealistic expectations. Rather than listen to what Biff actually says, Willy appears to believe his son has forgiven him and will follow in his footsteps, and after Linda goes upstairs to bed (despite her urging him to follow her), lapses one final time into a hallucination, thinking he sees his long-dead brother Ben, whom Willy idolized.

In Willy’s mind, Ben approves of the scheme Willy has dreamed up to kill himself in order to give Biff his insurance policy money. Willy exits the house. Biff and Linda cry out in despair as the sound of Willy’s car blares up and fades out.

The final scene takes place at Willy’s funeral, which is attended only by his family, Charley and Bernard (Bernard says nothing at the funeral, but in the stage directions, he is present). The ambiguities of mixed and unaddressed emotions persist, particularly over whether Willy’s choices or circumstances were obsolete. At the funeral Biff retains his belief that he does not want to become a businessman like his father. Happy, on the other hand, chooses to follow in his father’s footsteps, while Linda laments her husband’s decision just before her final payment on the house.

Death of a Salesman Characters

  • Willy Loman: The central character in the play. He has been employed for 36 years by the Wagner firm as a traveling salesman. Now, at the age of 63, he has been removed from salary and placed on straight commission, a sign that he is no longer as valuable to the company as he once was.
  • Linda Loman: Willy’s wife. She is devoted to the welfare of her husband and has made many sacrifices in order to sustain him. She tries to support and encourage Willy. Despite her efforts, he grows increasingly depressed.
  • Biff Loman: Willy’s 34 year-old son, the elder of the two children. As a high school student, he was a star football player and showed great promise; however, he has spent the past 14 years doing various odd jobs around the company attempting to find meaning in life.
  • Happy Loman: Willy’s 32 year-old son, the younger of the two brothers. Happy lives in his own apartment and works for a department store. He feels rejected by his father, who always preferred Biff.
  • Charley: A next-door neighbor and lifetime friend of the Lomans. When Willy is put on commission, Charley lends him money each month. He is more down-to-earth than Willy and more successful.
  • Bernard: Charley’s son. As a child, he was Biff’s friend and has gone on to become a successful attorney.
  • Jenny: Charley’s secretary.
  • Ben: Willy’s dead brother. As a young man he left home and became very wealthy. He is the man Willy was never able to be. He appears in Willy’s daydreams as the only man Willy ever met “who knew the answers.”
  • Howard Wagner: Willy’s boss at the Wagner company and the son of the original owner.
  • Miss Francis: A woman from Willy’s past.
  • Letta & Miss Forsythe: Two young women Happy picks up.
  • Stanley: A young waiter at Frank’s Chop House.

DOAS OBC logo

Arthur Miller’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN originally opened on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre on February 11, 1949 and ran until November 18, 1950 – with a total of 742 performances. The original cast was:

Lee J. Cobb Willy Loman
Thomas Chalmers Uncle Ben
Mildred Dunnock Linda
Alan Hewitt Howard Wagner
Arthur Kennedy Biff
Cameron Mitchell Happy
Howard Smith Charley
Hope Cameron Letta
Winifred Cushing The Woman
Ann Driscoll Secretary
Constance Ford Miss Forsythe
Don Keefer Bernard
Tom Pedi Stanley
Robert Simon
Understudy: Willy Loman

Produced by Kermit Bloomgarden and Walter Fried. Directed & Staged by Elia Kazan. Incidental music by Alex North; Scenic & Lighting Design by Jo Mielziner; Costume Design by Julia Sze; Assistant to Mr. Mielziner: John Harvey; General Manager: Max Allentuck; Production Stage Manager: Del Hughes; Stage Manager: Leonard Patrick; Assistant Stage Manager: James Gregory; Music Contractor: Joseph Haber; Trumpet: William Brooks; Clarinet: Louis Klein; Cello: Abe Kessler; Flute: Victor Harris; Press Representative: James D. Proctor; Assistant Press Representative: Anne Sloper; Assistant to the Director: Robert Simon; Production Assistant: Ethel Winant

Award Tony 1949 Tony Award Best Play
Award Tony 1949 Tony Award Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic)
Arthur Kennedy
Award Tony 1949 Tony Award Best Scenic Design
Jo Mielziner
Award Tony 1949 Tony Award Producer (Dramatic)
Kermit Bloomgarden and Walter Fried
Award Tony 1949 Tony Award Author
Arthur Miller
Award Tony 1949 Tony Award Best Director
Elia Kazan
Award Pulitzer 1949 Pulitzer Prize Drama
Award Theatre World 1949 Theatre World Award Cameron Mitchell

Reviews noted the set and lighting of the production. “Jo Mielziner, always equal to an occasion, has designed a skeletonized set that captures the mood of the play and serves the actors brilliantly,” wrote Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times. “The notable set – a two story exposed house – along with the mood lighting create the stage and world of Death of A Salesman. Focusing on the somber, yet intense, set, it allows the audience to be drawn into the mood of the play from the instant they see the staging“.

It is considered by some critics to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.

Death of a Salesman OBC photo 03 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 12 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 10 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 04 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 11 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 06 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 02 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 07 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 09 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 01 Death of a Salesman OBC photo 08 Death of a Salesman OBC promo Lee J Cobb Death of a Salesman OBC design renderingDeath of a Salesman OBC design setDeath of a Salesman OBC press New York Times review Death of a Salesman OBC playbill cover Death of a Salesman OBC book cover

Death of a Salesman OBC DVD coverA 1966 made-for-television film adaptation of DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller was presented on CBS sponsored by Xerox, and later preserved on VHS and DVD by my Broadway Theatre Archive directed by Alex Segal and adapted for television by Arthur Miller. Produced by Daniel Melnick and David Susskind with Marvin J. Chomsky as associate producer. Lee J. Cobb (Willy Loman) and Mildred Dunnock (Linda Loman) reprised their role  from the original 1949 stage production.

WITH James Farentino (Happy ‘Hap’ Loman), George Segal (Biff Loman), Gene Wilder (Bernard), Albert Dekker (Uncle Ben), Edward Andrews (Charley), Marge Redmond (Woman in Hotel), Bernie Kopell (Howard Wagner), Stanley Adams (Stanley), Joan Patrick (Miss Forsythe), Karen Steele (Letta), and June Foray (Jenny)

It received numerous nominations for awards, and won several of them, including 3 Primetime Emmy Awards, a Directors Guild of America Award and a Peabody Award. It was nominated in a total of 11 Emmy categories at the 19th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1967. In addition, Cobb and Dunnock were Grammy Award-nominated at the 9th Grammy Awards in 1967 in the category of Best Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama Recording.

In the shed where it happened …

DEATH OF A SALESMAN 2005 London photo Athur Miller outside the shed where he wrote DEATH OF A SALESMAN
Arthur Miller, outside his writing shed, which he built ~1948 for the purpose of
writing Death of a Salesman at his Roxbury, Connecticut residence.

Photograph © Inge Morath, Magnum Photos, Inc. Used with permission

My COVID-19 Parodies of DEATH OF A SALESMAN in April 2020 and May 2022 in Shanghai Lockdown 

Death of a Salesman COVID 19 Shanghai 2022 reimagined Poster

Parody...-Divorce-of-a-Salesman-(Re-imagined-Poster)

See over 100 more of my Broadway Parodies or my 75 Shanghai Lockdown parodies.

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