The American Clock in reviews
Rachel Chavkin’s production of Arthur Miller’s poignant are rarely staged work, The American Clock, opened on 13 February. Hear what the critics are saying about the show.
Described as ‘a vaudeville’, it shows how the nation’s built-in optimism came up against economic reality and, in a production by Rachel Chavkin, who directed Hadestown, it has an appropriately epic sweep.
Ann Yee’s choreography is beautifully disciplined without lapsing into the machine-like impersonality of big musicals.
There’s a fine cast here… including Clarke Peters as the narrator. His calm and sincere delivery contains in it a striking sadness. Beside him is the ever-powerful Golda Rosheuvel, who comes close to stealing the show, first as a rabble-rousing communist giving a storming speech, and then as Rose 3 suffering a nervous breakdown while waiting for the bailiffs to come calling.
A welcome rediscovery, eerily up to-the-moment and serving as an invaluable reminder of how an economic shock can change a country forever.
Its kaleidoscopic vision of an advanced society sleepwalking into an essentially self-inflicted disaster is certainly painfully relevant to Britain’s current interests… It’s a powerful, poignant and frequently enlightening odyssey… The most relevant piece of political theatre in town.
The cast of 17 sings and dances with beguiling skill around the revolving stage of Chloe Lamford’s set… Miller’s sense of a society in meltdown is timely, sure. Most importantly, though, he understood human nature, and that never changes. When his ideas get filtered here through real, messy, screwed-up, complicated human beings, Chavkin’s playful production comes alive.
[Rachel Chavkin] peppers the play’s vignettes with a wonderful score by Justin Ellington and sound designer Darron L West and energetic use of the revolve and fantastic, sharp dance routines from Ann Yee. She has a brilliant, committed, hard-working cast, led by Clarke Peters, a man whose grave charisma could make the reading of a telephone book compelling.