Broken Glass

Tolbooth, Stirling, Thu 26 - Sat 28 Apr, then touring


There is a simple believability in Arthur Miller’s characters and stories which makes them as relevant today as they ever were, be they tales of quotidian salesmen betrayed by the American Dream, or illegal immigrants living in hidden poverty in an affluent country. Such characters were many in Miller’s oeuvre. If they occurred less frequently in his latter years as a dramatist, they were all the more powerful when they did.

One late Miller, never seen before in Scotland, which falls into this category is Broken Glass, his tale of a Jewish woman, seemingly paralysed, who, in the late 1930s, hears with increasing alarm stories of emerging German anti-Semitism broadcast over her radio. Could her physical condition and the reports be connected? When the play received its premiere at the English National Theatre in the early 90s, it won Ken Stott an Olivier. Here given its first Scottish outing by Michael Emans’ Rapture theatre company, the piece shows a connection between great political upheavals and everyday people.

‘This character is aware of things that are happening in other parts of the world that other people are dismissing,’ Emans explains. ‘When you think about the things that happen around the world now that barely make the news, like what’s happening in Darfur, it’s atrocious. I thought it was absolutely relevant, because we tend not to be aware of what’s happening in the world unless it affects ourselves.’

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