Theatre review: The Man Who Had All The Luck at Kings Head Theatre

Jamie Chandler, Chloe Walshe and Alex Warner in The Man Who Had All The Luck at King's Head Theatre.

Jamie Chandler, Chloe Walshe and Alex Warner in The Man Who Had All The Luck at King's Head Theatre. Picture: George Linfield - Credit: Archant

Choice and fate balance in this tale of a lucky man, says Emily Govan.

One of the lesser known plays by American theatre icon Arthur Miller, this comes to the King’s Head in his centenary year.

David is a young midwestern car mechanic but not a typical one – it seems everything he touches turns to gold. Blessed with good luck, he overcomes every obstacle that crosses his path, while those around him fail.

David is set on marrying his long-term girlfriend, Hester, but her father, Falk, has always resented him and still exerts control over Hester’s life. The two come to blows and Falk threatens to kill David. However soon after, Falk is killed in a car accident, and thus all the obstacles in David’s path are removed.

Following that, a mysterious Austrian mechanic joins David’s business and it thrives.

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However all is not well for others in David’s vicinity – his brother, originally feted as baseball’s next big thing, ends up a failure, humiliated and resentful of his family and jealous of David.

As it becomes more and more obvious that David has luck that seems to evade others, guilt begins to haunt him as his lot in life appears unfair.

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He starts to wonder when his luck will change and whether he will be forced to deal with tragedy himself.

Lucky man David is portrayed with verve and drive by Jamie Chandler. Chloe Walshe as Hester is emotionally expressive. And Keith Hill, playing David’s hapless father, adds a tragi-comic element to proceedings.

This is a fascinating tale that deals with how much is down to fate and how much we are in control of our own lives with the decisions we choose. But it’s also a story of community, love, loyalty and coming together in hard times.

A charming production – well worth a look.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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