'It's a masterpiece. It's as good as anything he has ever written.' Considering that David Thacker is discussing Arthur Miller (right), these are strong words. Broken Glass is about to open at the National in a slightly revised version, following its American premiere. 'We've been in close contact since the very first draft.' Considering that this is the seventh of Miller's plays that Thacker has directed, such collaboration is unsurprising.

Like his actors, and with the exception of Shakespeare, he can think of nothing better to work on. When he did The Price at the Young Vic, one of the funding bodies criticised the choice as being inaccessible to a young audience. 'The now-disbanded Youth Theatre came to see the play. Afterwards, many were in tears and two young men came up to me and said how they saw the play as the story of people who made mistakes in their youth and the way their lives were ruined by that. They were really haunted by it.'

Broken Glass examines one of Miller's favourite themes: the tensions between of public lives and personal beliefs. It's about truth and denial. 'His plays really grab audiences. They have really strong narratives but they concentrate on personal responsibilty and morality. It throbs though his plays. I detect a shift in the way people think about such things. Miller has his finger on the pulse.'

Broken Glass begins previews at the National tonight. (Box Office 071-928 2252)

(Photograph omitted)