Fathers And Sons

A well-directed adaptation of Arthur Miller's famous play.

This winter, Q Theatre Productions (QTP) proudly presents an adapted version of 'All My Sons' by Arthur Miller. Written in 1947, the play is essentially an attempt to depict the nature of post-war American society and the events that preceded it. QTP's adaptation removes time and space from the context, leaving the original script untouched. Much of the original drama (by Miller) has been transformed to fit modern-day circumstances and the director seems to have edited out certain parts. Either way, the plot, as it stands, is intact without any blatant structural changes.

Joe Keller (Farid Currim) is a father and a successful businessman living in suburbia with his son Chris (Nadir Khan) who yearns for the quiet life with his late brother's former fiancée Annie (Yuki Elias). By the first act, it becomes evident that during the war Joe Keller was involved in a shipping scam, where his factory sold faulty parts to the airforce. After the death of 21 pilots, he was arrested along with Annie's father (who was his foreman).

However, Joe was acquitted for lack of evidence and his foreman was imprisoned. Since then, the Kellars had made a conscious decision to regain their reputation and bury the past. This inevitably becomes a bone of contention between the two families but isn't discussed by either Annie or Chris, who feel the need to start their lives anew and forget the old war wounds. Unfortunately the couple have to face their tarnished past and this is when the play really starts to take a capricious spin.

The director's interpretation of the characters comes out in a form that is well defined and logical to the adapted script. The characters fluently acclimatize themselves to the immediate circumstance and any minor transformation is immediately apparent. The whole play seems to rest on the very capable shoulders of Qusar Thakore Padamsee, who has brilliantly packaged a Millarian drama in a manner most pleasing to the senses.

I found the original play intriguing when I first read it because it dealt with that obscure part of a nation's war effort that never really makes the history books. But the play is wholly predictable, and the first act tends to drag on for a bit. This can bore an audience should the cast choose to settle for mediocrity of performance. However, the colourful cast makes the play extremely enjoyable. Nadir Khan is energetic and Farid Curim is just perfect as the middle-aged Joe Keller. Other cast members include Farah Balah, Yuki Ellias, Christopher Samuel and the veteran actress, Dolly Thakore.

The director and producer (Qusar Thakore Padamsee and Christopher Samuel) have also taken care to use a bare minimum of sets so as not to blur the focus of the audience. The lighting is pleasant (though the make-up expert should search for alternate employment) and the play is visually appealing. Both the director and his cast effortlessly carry the production to its final act. This one is definitely worth your Saturday night out.

This article was first published on 01 May 2001.