BY ARTHUR MILLER
DIRECTED BY SEAN TURNER
Following the critically acclaimed, sell-out world premiere at The Old Red Lion in 2015, Arthur Miller’s first ever play, No Villain, then went on a UK tour. Directed by Sean Turner, with design by Max Dorey, lighting design by Jack Weir and sound design by Richard Melkonian, the cast included David Bromley as ‘Abe Simon’, Nesba Crenshaw as ‘Esther Simon’, Kenneth Jay as ‘Grandpa Barnett’, Steven Omer as ‘Roth/Dawson/Man’, and George Turvey as ‘Ben Simon’.
Over six days during spring break 1936 at the University of Michigan, a twenty year old college sophomore wrote his first play, No Villain. His aim was to win the prestigious Avery Hopwood award and, more importantly, the $250 prize he needed in order to return to college the following year. Miller won the award, and the subsequent one, but the play was never produced.
My first attempt at a play, rather inevitably, had been about industrial action and a father and his two sons, the most autobiographical dramatic work I would ever write.
– Arthur Miller
No Villain tells the story of a garment industry strike that sets a son against his factory proprietor father. Here, Miller explores the Marxist theory that would see him hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee years later.
This remarkable debut play gives us a tantalising glimpse of Miller’s early life, the seeding of his political values and the beginning of his extraordinary career.
Praise for the production:
“No Villain takes us to another cradle of dramatic greatness.” The Guardian
“Absolutely brilliant” The Independent ****
“A stylish outing for Arthur Miller’s Marxist debut drama.” Time Out ****