THEATRE: CURTAIN CALLS

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The Independent Culture
"The most powerful autobiography of a living author I have ever seen." Sheridan Morley, eminent resident of Hyperbole Mansions, is not a man to let a superlative go by. Thus a commendation from him on the cover of a book might need to be taken with a sackful of salt, but in the case of Arthur Miller's Timebends, he's on the money. Despite being a nice Jewish boy with an elder brother named Kermit, struggling through the McCarthy years and marrying Marilyn Monroe, Miller also found time to write an enviable collection of plays. I've always been uneasy about the reverence accorded to Death of a Salesman (although Warren Mitchell's performance in the 1980 National production made me want to work in theatre), but The Crucible is one the century's great plays. And then there's the Jewish guilt pulsing through Broken Glass or the movie star glamour in After the Fall. If for nothing else, read this hugely impressive book to see their autobiographical well-springs.

`Timebends' published by Methuen at pounds 9.99

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