Tag Archives: death of a saleman

Culture Night

Mrs Tin and I went to the theatre last night.

The fact that the sentence above gets a paragraph all of its own will tell you that this in not a frequent occurrence. Indeed, I’ve probably spent more time in the operating theatre than in the theatre theatre during my lifetime. But we went yesterday, for Mrs Tin’s birthday. That, of course,was last Sunday, and that was when she wanted to go, but when we tried to book we discovered that actors rest on the seventh day, possibly in the belief that they are God.

We went to see Death of a Salesman. I’ve never seen it before, it’s one of those things I always meant to do without ever getting round to it, like visiting the National Museum, or watching The Matrix, or joining the Mile-high Club. It’s one of those plays that has sunk into the subconscious of the world. People who’ve never read A Christmas Carol know who Scrooge is, people who’ve never read Hamlet know he says “to be or not to be”, people who’ve never read Sherlock Holmes know he lives in Baker Street. Similarly, though I’d never seen the play I knew the salesman’s name was Willy Loman.

It was terrific. I’m not a theatre critic, so I won’t try to review it here, except to say that the performance of Harris Yulin (look him up, you’ll know him if you see him, he’s one of these guys who’s in everything) was something I’ll never forget.

And the play is being very well attended, which is always good to see. Indeed, we got the last two seats in the house, which meant we weren’t side by side but each of us was at the end of a row, with me seated behind Mrs Tin (ironically, the only people in the whole theatre who didn’t turn up were the pair who were meant to sit beside me, so we could have sat together anyway).

Not sitting together in the theatre doesn’t matter anyway. It’s not like the cinema, you’re not going to start huggin’-anna-kissin’ in the back-row, you’re not going to pass each other popcorn, you’re not going to noisily open two cans of Coke.

And, when the action is at its most tense and the audience at its most silent,you’ve not going to lean over and whisper “I bet I know who kills him.”