Theatre Review: The Man Who Had All the Luck, 17 January, Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

18 Jan
Image by Douglas MacBride

Image by Douglas MacBride

Can a person have too much luck? Is there a point when everything that has gone well must be tainted or destroyed? Or do we simply make our own luck in life? These are the questions at the centre of the Royal Lyceum’s new adaptation of Arthur Miller’s 1940 play, The Man Who Had All the Luck.

David Beeves (Philip Cumbus) is a young mechanic in America’s Midwest during the Depression. In love with local girl Hester (Kim Gerard), David is forbidden to see her by the girl’s father (Peter Harding) who, moments later is tragically killed in a car accident.

Free to marry Hester, everything David touches soon turns to gold as those of the people around him slowly seem to fall apart, leaving him to wonder if something bad is going to happen to him to make up for all the good in his life.

Headed by affable lead Cumbus, portraying Beeves’ growing despair and confusion with breathless enthusiasm, The Man Who Had All the Luck has a real energy to it that sees the strong cast hitting their marks with apparent ease.

Lyceum regular Kim Gerard is as bouncy as she was in last season’s Mary Rose while Greg Powrie gives depth to his portrayal of Gustav Eberson when it would be too easy to play up the humour aspect.

Also worth mentioning is Michael Taylor’s set design which gives more than just a nod to the grit and grime of a small town garage without overdoing the detail.

Smart dialogue, big themes and the ramifications of the American dream are all part of a play that invites the audience to think along with the characters about what it means to live and love while never spoon feeding them with easy answers.

Until 14 February.

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Full details of The Man Who Had All the Luck can be found on the Lyceum website.

Watch a sneak peek at The Man Who Had All the Luck:


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