Happy Birthday, Mr Miller

A omnibus edition of Arthur Miller's plays to mark his birth centenary features lots of photographs

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The Independent Culture

To mark Arthur Miller’s birth centenary next month, Penguin Classics has just published an illustrated hardback omnibus edition of four of Miller’s plays: All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953) and A View from the Bridge (1955). The book, titled The Classic Plays, features a selection of photographs of actors and productions, playbills and memorabilia, many taken by photographer Inge Morath, Miller’s third wife.

Photographs include the first staging of Death of  Salesman in New York in 1949 and 2014’s West End production of A View from the Bridge. Miller is captured arriving at the London premiere of A View from the Bridge in 1956 with his second wife, Marilyn Monroe. The couple are also photographed with Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh sitting in the Comedy Theatre waiting for curtain to go up. The Lord Chamberlain had banned the original production, so the producers hired the Comedy Theatre and turned it into a  club to evade censorship. Audience members had paid a membership fee so it was deemed a private performance.

In another photograph, Miller is greeting Olivier in 1965 at the offices of the National Theatre at the Old Vic in London for the opening of Olivier’s production of The Crucible. Miller is photographed next to Dustin Hoffman who was in the Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman in 1984. Liam Neeson sits with Miller during a rehearsal for Richard Eyre’s Broadway revival of The Crucible, in 2002.

Penguin Classics is also publishing three more Miller pays into the Penguin Modern Classics list: An Enemy of the People (1951); an adaptation of the play by Henrik Ibsen, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991) and Resurrection Blues (2005).


Arthur Miller: The Classic Plays, is published by Penguin Modern Classics, £25