The performances are engaging, no question. Any attempt to bring disparate theatrical characters together to serve a theme is something I’m going to be interested in.
What I didn't like
The play alternates between a vague conception of purgatory and a series of lessons Lear gives to Loman in metre – neither of which seem to connect with the other, nor are they fully developed. The female characters are only there to support and define the male characters, and if you think about it, there are few male roles that are less thoughtful or kind when it comes to the women in their life. To have to watch Loman and Lear bemoan their actions only to end up getting a reprieve from purgatory with a destination that we are forced to assume must be heaven – well, to say it doesn’t feel earned is an understatement. The women spend more time folding laundry that they just toss into a pile in the end [exacting laundry folding doesn’t quite work like that] or standing in silence than they do in any other endeavour.
My overall impression
Though I would happily line up for hours to watch any of the actors featured perform the roles they have here [not just Loman and Lear but also Blanche from ‘Streetcar’ and Martha from ‘Woolf’], the play is not as successful as the acting is.