Imanol Arias in Argentina: shines in the new staging of “The Death of a Salesman”

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Let’s start with a certainty: Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century. Known renovator of the American theater, was born a year after the start of the First World War, in the midst of “American dream”that dream of unlimited prosperity in exchange for work, will and faith in progress.

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In 1929, with the thunderous crash of the New York Stock Exchange, his father went bankrupt, like many other small entrepreneurs. The young Arthur suffered firsthand the consequences of that crisis and, with the sensitivity that characterizes an artist, transferred to most of his works the situation of individuals in the face of the complex, authoritarian and impersonal machine of social organization.

In The death of a salesman, the author warned of cracks in a socio-economic system that are even more evident today and have spread to all corners of the planet. It should be noted that the aforementioned piece, along with Witches of Salem AND panorama from the bridgemake up a masterful trilogy which, more than half a century after their writing, continue to be an acute reflection on the human being.

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The plot deals with the journey of Willy Loman (Imanol Arias), a 63-year-old man who perceives as your goals vanish and obstacles overtake you. He worked for 34 years as a salesman in a company, during which time he was able to buy his house with a mortgage.

The character that Arias embodies goes through all states, from frustration to hope.  Photo Sergio Parra

The character that Arias embodies goes through all states, from frustration to hope. Photo Sergio Parra

In the present, exhausted, on the verge of depression, he sees how his sales have declined and his position begins to falter due to lack of productivity. The protagonist has lived believing that if people like him, everything is easier and he succeeds in life.. He even instilled this philosophy in his sons Biff (Jon Arias) and Happy (Carlos Serrano-Clark).

The threat of losing his job is getting closer, his marriage to Linda (Cristina de Inza) has become routine, debts are piling up and his offspring have lost respect for him. Especially his older offspring, a being who seems aimless and who has been scarred by a past event related to his father that breeds enormous resentment and taints his adult life.

Driven by greed for success and progress up the social ladder, they see how reality hits like a whip on the back.

The shadow of bankruptcy colors Willy’s life and to pay off his debts he asks for help from Howard (Miguel Uribe), his boss, who, despite the employee’s past, shows a total lack of empathy and ends up firing him due to the significant drop in sales.

The only one who lends him a hand is Charley (a role also played by Uribe), his neighbor and friend, who offers him a job which he refuses so as not to recognize that his ideals were wrong.

This Miller classic is directed by Rubén Szuchmacher.  photo by Sergio Parra

This Miller classic is directed by Rubén Szuchmacher. photo by Sergio Parra

He is so attached to his ideas that, even in the flashback, the appearance of Ben (Fran Calvo), the brother who left and succeeded in Alaska, is a sign of his stubbornness. Of the end, which we will not reveal here, the job reflects a small glimmer of hope when Biff assumes neither his father nor he are beings extraordinary and that progress cannot be made without consideration of ethical principles.

Frustration with unfulfilled dreams, the inability of parents and children to express love, the wear and tear of relationships over the years, the need to be accepted and included in the world are some of the axes on which the validity of this classic is confirmed.

Imanol Arias is perfect as a protagonist of this version directed by the Argentine Ruben Schuchmacher. Not only is it physically and age appropriate for the character, but it has an intensity and tone that does they can take us from anger to emotion through each scene.

By his side, inside homogeneous and talented cast of Spanish artiststhe effectiveness of Cristina de Inza as a tormented wife and a promising Jon Arias (son of Imanol), in the skin of one who squandered his youth trying to please his father.


Cast: Imanol Arias, Cristina de Inza, Jon Arias, Carlos Serrano-Clark, Fran Calvo, Miguel Uribe and Virginia Flores Address: Ruben Schuchmacher Theater: Opéra, Av. Corrientes 860.

Source: Clarin

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