Blood, English Heart
estranged brothers meet to dispose of their dead father's accumulated
belongings. The poorer resents his brother's success, which he feels
was achieved at his expense, and also has a more sentimentalised image
of the father.
wife hopes that
a reconciliation might lead to the richer brother helping them out
economically, but all that really happens is the exposure of what an
absolute bastard the old man was and how both sons were emotionally
crippled by him.
is, of course, Arthur Miller's The Price.
Murphy has moved the story to London and made some other cosmetic
changes - in place of cop and surgeon we have cab driver and successful
author, a fourth character is a diabetic young man rather than a
diabetic old man - and his ending is a little darker than Miller's.
any chicanery here. Darren Murphy has his own vision and story to tell,
and the similarities may well be totally coincidental. But essentially
he has rewritten The Price, and Murphy is not a great a playwright as
you are not
ticking off the moment-by-moment parallels to Miller's play, there are
some pleasures to be drawn from this version. The core story, of a man
forced to realise who the real enemy of his life was, is moving, though
Murphy does not allow his cab driver the accompanying experience of
seeing his own life in a new and comforting light.
Though director Caitriona McLaughlin has encouraged Ian Groombridge as the cabbie and Carolyn Tomkinson as his wife to signify and externalise their acting too much, so we are more aware of the performers doing capital-A Acting than of the characters, Howard Teale as the writer has several strong and true-feeling scenes.
Rodrigues' set, the father's cluttered lock-up, features a blown-up map
of south London that kept distracting me and a classic old tube map I
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- Irish Blood, English Heart - Trafalgar Studios 2011