If you’ve read or studied an Arthur Miller play, you’ll know his stage directions are remarkably comprehensive. Running to hundreds of words sometimes, they cover all the bases, from setting, music and lighting to the inner workings of his characters.

Death of a Salesman STC Death of a Salesman

For some directors, Miller’s notes are a playbook, instructions to be followed in spirit if not to the letter. To others, they represent a creative heavy hand, the writer’s unwillingness to leave space for interpretation and experimentation.

The last production of Death of a Salesmanon a Sydney mainstage was at Belvoir in 2012, where director Simon Stone ignored Miller’s stage directions more or less completely and presented us with a stripped-back Salesmanthat was minimal, memorable and controversial. Stone, you might recall, struck out the final scene until the playwright’s estate stepped in and threatened to close the show unless it was restored.

This production, directed by Sydney Theatre...