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Sunday 31 October 2010

Broken Glass by Arthur Miller at the Tricycle highly recommended

Arthur Miller's 1994 play Broken Glass can be seen as the set-in-the-1930ies American drama prequel to the 2010 Booker Prize Winner The Finkler Question (by Howard Jacobson). 

Philip Gellman the only Jew in the Mortgage Department of a WASP savings and loan company is proud of his son who is training to be the only Jewish officer trained at the Elite West Point Military Academy. He's less comfortable with being Jewish, secular and of modest Eastern European origins. It is 1938 and the news about how Jews are being treated in Germany is affecting Jews in New York. Above all Philip's wife (from a more privileged Jewish background than her husband), which brings them and the difficulties of their sex life in near contact with their well adapted secular Jewish German-trained, horseback riding family doctor with an impressive command of down-to-earth, descriptive Yiddish phrases. 

A serious drama on the meanings of Jewish identity takes its course, but Arthur Miller knows how to bring wit and humour into the dialogue and the psychological drama of the story line. The production (director Iqbal Khan) and the cast ( Emily Bruni, Lucy Cohu, Nigel Lindsay, Madeleine Potter, Brian Protheroe) led by Antony Sher make for a gripping dramatic evening, not devoid of laughter. Highly recommended.

Arhur Miller (1915-2005)

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