Review - The Hook at Royal and Derngate in Northampton

An unseen Arthur Miller story has been translated for the stage in the latest production at the Royal and Derngate.
Jamie Sives who stars in The HookJamie Sives who stars in The Hook
Jamie Sives who stars in The Hook

The Hook tells the story of longshoremen in 1950s Brooklyn and of one in particular Marty Ferrara. He challenges the mobsters and gangs of the time and takes a stand against the corruption he witnesses from the authorities who control the docks.

The writer intended The Hook to be a film until it was suppressed by the FBI for fear that it would cause further unrest.

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It is very easy to see why this play would have caused issues with the authorities at the time. It is a play all about challenging the systems and the established orders. Indeed, given recent events in the football world, it isn’t difficult to see the parallels between this play and the world around us isn’t difficult to spot.

There is a fantastic intensity to the performers, all of whom have the tricky task of perfecting the accent. Normally when you watch a show when the period depicted is outside the UK, you normally see the accent drop for a slight amount of time. However, every single actor didn’t let it slip for a second and makes for a fantastically authentic piece.

It feels awkward to pick out one person out of a uniformly excellent cast but Jamie Sives as leading man Marty Ferrara is absolutely superb. He portrays the love and the hot headed nature of the character with consummate ease.

The end result of the performers and the story is a play which refuses to give any easy answers. However it is one that makes you think about the corruption in the current world.

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Arthur Miller would have been incredibly proud of this show. It might have taken 60 years to see it, but was definitely worth it.

The Hook is performed at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton until Saturday June 27. For tickets call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit

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