Death of a Salesman – God I love this show

Wendell Pierce

Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell have treated us to a mesmerising evening that is overflowing with suspended furniture, sliding door frames, live music, Arinzé Kene in a vest and a inspired new version of Death of a Salesman, at the Young Vic. 

Inspired as in the Loman family are black, which casts their drudgery in pre-civil rights America in a whole different light. This Salesman stars Sharon D Clarke and Wendell Pierce as Linda and Willy Loman. 

Elliott and Cromwell co-direct with attention grabbing pace. And 70 years on, Arthur Miller’s play has chilling resonance. And it’s all here: the pathos, time bending and drama of intense despair. This revival illuminates the classic as the past haunts the present time and place majestically. 

Memory and reality are never overplayed.

Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce

It may demand a lot from audiences and take risks, but that’s what all great theatre should do. And if some don’t come off, it’s one of the few classic tragic plays that can usually fall back on its script or the astonishing performances of its cast.

Particular plaudits with Elliott & Harper’s impressive production, of course, go to Sharon D. Clarke who’s turned loyal wife Linda Loman into a thing of very slow-burning, bluesy pain. 

Wendell Pierce leads the collapse of the Loman family as the deluded Salesman: out of time. His Willy is lofty, pathetic and explosive. 

 Sharon D Clarke

Sharon D Clarke

The design by Anna Fleischle is a beautifully fragmented and disjointed shell of a home: The Young Vic shimmers in rich primary colours through short sharp bursts of light through a prism or wooden frames. Hats off to the glorious sound by Carolyn Downing and clever music by Temowo. 

Halfway through Act 1, though, I felt this was Marianne Elliott on both autopilot and at the peak of her powers: standing, at times, in the shadow of huge successes on both revivals of musical Company and Angels in America.

But Act 2 left me reeling and emotionally shattered. Make of that what you will. 

The final scene is 10/10. 

Personally, I thought the whole thing was so brilliantly executed that it should become a permanent fixture on The Cut. 

A perfect revival. 

Death of a Salesman runs at the Young Vic from May 9-June 29,

Sold out DEATH OF A SALESMAN run extended, £10 ‘Rush’ Tickets to be released

Wendell Pierce

Due to public demand, the Young Vic today announces that the currently sold-out production of Death of a Salesman will extend for an additional two weeks of performances until Saturday 13 July. These additional performances go on sale at 10.30am today, Wednesday 1 May, with tickets priced £10 – £40.

As part of its commitment to accessible tickets, the Young Vic also announces that every Thursday at midday a limited number of £10 ‘Rush’ Tickets will be released online for the following week’s performances. The scheme will begin from Thursday 2 May and will be limited to two tickets per customers, available online.

Following her recent award-winning successes on Company and Angels in AmericaMarianne Elliott co-directs Death of a Salesmanwith Miranda Cromwell, who worked as Associate Director on both shows. Together, they bring a unique vision to one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century, seen through the eyes of an African-American family.

Wendell Pierce makes his UK stage debut as Willy Loman, with Sharon D. Clarke as Linda Loman, Arinzé Kene as Biff Loman and Martins Imhangbe as Happy Loman. The full cast also includes Ian Bonar as Bernard, Trevor Cooper as Charley, Joseph Mydellas Ben Loman, Nenda Neurer as Letta, Jennifer Saayeng as Miss Forsythe, Matthew Seadon-Young as Howard Wagner and Stanley, Maggie Service as The Woman and Jenny and Femi Temowo as Willy Loman’s Father and Musician.

Death of a Salesman is directed by Marianne Elliott and Miranda Cromwell, with design by Anna Fleischle, lighting design byAideen Malone, sound design by Carolyn Downing, composition and musical direction by Femi Temowo, fight direction and additional movement support by Yarit Dor and casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG.


Miranda Cromwell returns to Bristol Old Vic with Half Breed

Natasha Marshall
Natasha Marshall

Natasha Marshall

“I am that mixed raced kid, like 50/50, on the fence, luke warm, in-between maybe. Trust me, around here I’m about as black as it goes…”

Jazmin feels different. She doesn’t want to stay in the village. She doesn’t want to have a baby. She doesn’t want to laugh at racist jokes in the local pub. She’s got to get out.

Following its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 and a run at London’s Soho Theatre, Soho Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company present Half BreedNatasha Marshall’s semi-autobiographical dark comedy about finding your voice, fighting for what you want and being fearless in who you are.

Director Miranda Cromwell returns to Bristol Old Vic where she directed the award-winning Young Company for six years.Speaking today, she said: “This theatre is very special to me, I began my career here as the Young Company Director, it shaped me as an artist and a person. Natasha has performed Half Breed in London, Edinburgh and across India, returning to Bristol and the West Country. I am immensely proud of her and the journey that the production has been on and I am thrilled that Half Breed will be playing in the main house at Bristol Old Vic.”

Natasha Marshall trained on Soho Theatre Young Company’s Writer’s Lab and the Talawa First new-writing scheme. Shortlisted for the Soho Young Writers’ Tony Craze Award 2016 , Alfred Fagon Award (2016) and UK Theatre Award for Best New Play, Half Breed has toured to Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Assembly Box), London’s Soho Theatre (where it hit 93% sales) and internationally to four cities in India including the Jagriti Theatre in Bangalore, running workshops with local schools and arts communities.

‘…compelling and impressive performance from Natasha Marshall…slick, clear and…humorous transitions. The writing is excellent…’ ★ ★ ★ ★ To Do List

★ ★ ★ ★ Evening Standard                                                                   ★ ★ ★ ★ Financial Times

Listings Information:
26  27 Apr
Bristol Old Vic

7.30pm2.30pm (Fri mat)
box office: 0117 987 7877 /

Running Time 65 mins, no interval
Ages 14+
@SohoTheatre #HalfBreed

Written and performed by Natasha Marshall
Directed by Miranda Cromwell
Designed by Ruby Spencer Pugh
Lighting Design by Amy Mae
Sound Design by Xana

Award-winning Bristol Old Vic Young Company kick off 2017 Studio Walkabout season with unique and anarchic tale The Love of the Nightingale

The Love of the Nightingale

The Love of the Nightingale

Bristol Old Vic Young Company’s January production gives the senior members of the company a chance to explore their political voices and address the issues that concern them today. The Love of the Nightingale by Timberlake Wertenbaker is as hard-hitting as we have come to expect from this award-winning company and deals with issues of consent, gender and sexuality. During Bristol Old Vic’s redevelopment, this production will take place at The Bierkeller nightclub in a fierce, modern interpretation not to be missed.

The Love of the Nightingale is set in a land ravaged by war, where two sisters are torn apart. They strive to find power in a society dominated by men. In this patriarchal world, asking questions is dangerous and turning a blind eye is routine. Can the truth be heard when free speech is lost and victims are shamed?

This powerful production will be directed by Miranda Cromwell (Former Bristol Old Vic Young Company Director), with an electrifying original soundtrack, drawing influence from German house music to 80s rave pop, coupled with beautiful cascading harmonies from Musical Director Jack DrewryThe Love of the Nightingale will be performed in The Bierkeller nightclub, the site-specific setting bringing stark immediacy to this anarchic retelling of this ancient myth, and will kick off the 2017 Studio Walkabout season.

Bristol Old Vic’s Engagement team are committed to providing creative opportunities for young people in every corner of the city. During Bristol Old Vic’s redevelopment, the Engagement team are branching out even further than before, breaking down barriers, reaching new communities and forging new relationships across the city. The award-winning Young Company are this year, for the first time, represented by young people from every single ward in Bristol and now provide 10% of their 350 members with bursary places, the goal being to ultimately remove all financial barriers to the arts for young people in Bristol.

Engagement Director Lucy Hunt said: “We’re using this time of change to spread the message that this theatre belongs to the whole city and it’s our responsibility to constantly be searching for new ways to show how we can support the different Bristol communities to tell their unique stories. Engagement is about the stories we choose to tell each other as a city. What the 250th birthday showed us is that we are defined by our community and can’t exist without it”.

2017 will see Bristol Old Vic’s Engagement department not only working with more young people than ever before, but also working in partnership with communities on brand-new projects in Southmead, Bedminster, Lockleaze and Melksham as well as continuing to provide arts activity to over 10,000 people in Bristol each year and 20 local schools.

Sian Eustace, Young Company and Participation Producer, added: “The Love of the Nightingale really does kick off an exciting new year for the Engagement team. The Bierkeller is the perfect venue for this charged and relevant tale, which is as original as it is modern. I’m sure the company will start the 2017 Studio Walkabout season in style with their vital interpretation.”

10-13 Jan                                                                                       
A Bristol Old Vic Young Company production
The Love of the Nightingale
By Timberlake Wertenbaker


Set in a land ravaged by war, two sisters are torn apart. They strive to find their power in a society dominated by men. In this patriarchal world, asking questions is dangerous and turning a blind eye is routine. Can the truth be heard when free speech is lost and victims are shamed?

The Love of the Nightingale is a myth of our times that challenges our perspectives on consent, gender and sexuality.

Performed in the unique setting of The Bierkeller, with bold choreography and original music, The Love of The Nightingale uses a cocktail of original rave music and dance with sudden outbursts of humour and violence which has a stark connection to the world we live in today.

The Bierkeller, All Saints St, Bristol BS1 2NA
Age 14+<