Eugene O’Neill’s American drama centre’s around the hardships of the Tyrone family. The play, directed by Anthony Paige, is filled with complex and harrowing emotions on all parts. Each character is battling their own demons and it is only after some time that the audience is exposed to them with incredible vigour. James Tyrone is portrayed by David Suchet, Mary Tyrone by Laurie Metclaff and their two sons Jamie and Edmund are played by Trevor White and Kyle Soller respectively.
The play is set in the front room of the Tyrone’s home, where we are shown the habits, thoughts and fears of the family. As time goes by the fake show of happiness slowly chips away until the we see the Tyrone family for who and what they really are, unhappy. The skill of the actors allows the audience to become engrossed by their real selves. O’Neill’s play is clearly autobiographical, featuring aspects from his own family and marriage. James Tyrone, who is tortured internally by one mistake unravelling his promising career as an actor, represents O’Neill’s father. Whilst, it has been considered, Mary Tyrone shares similar qualities to O’Neill’s wife. I found this an interesting insight and I felt the family’s issues became more realistic because of it.
Suchet was skilful in tackling Tyrone’s controlling nature and his desperation to ensure his wife’s happiness. Laurie Metclaff’s disturbed and frayed Mary is also effective. While Kyle Soller and Trevor White’s performances became more moving as the play went on. The stage was picturesque and suited the story well. The actors directions were also done well, thus reflecting the skill of director Anthony Paige. The strength of the lighting and music accompanying the piece should also be noted. Although the actor’s performances were great in drawing the audience into the story, the play itself did not resonate well with me. Therefore making it less effective as a production. However, the skill of the cast should be noted and the play should be seen.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night is playing at the Apollo theatre until August 18th.
Written by Roxy Simons.