THE cynic’s view of war might well be that it is an extreme condition in which the young men die while the old men make the money.

If only the human condition were that simple. For the truth is that real life is far more complicated, as Arthur Miller’s stark and edgy morality tale so ably demonstrates.

This is a ticking bomb of a play, a fresh take on the age-old message that fate will demonstrably decree that the sins of the fathers are inevitably visited on the sons.

Talawa Theatre Company is indeed blessed with some very fine actors, performers who never fail to command the stage. The one-time Mr Monroe created some exceedingly convincing dialogue with this piece, ranging from teeth-grindingly acidic to softer passages of sweet and mellow, and the company has most certainly done him proud.

All My Sons is overwhelmingly a dark tale of how a great wrong falls like a pebble into the pond of life and the ripples are destined never to fade. This particular road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

The cast never fails to step up to the mark. There are riveting exchanges between patriarch Joe Keller (Ray Shell) and his surviving son Chris (Leemore Marrett Jnr) as the ghost of wartime casualty Larry continues to haunt the family.

At the same time, the pitiful figure of a mother who cannot accept her boy will not be coming back is played with accelerating misery and madness by Dona Croll.

Thankfully, Sue Bayliss (Andrea Davy) and Lydia Lubey (Bethan Mary-James) bring some light relief to an ever-gloomier scenario made even darker by the sudden arrival of the inquisitorial George Deever (Ashley Gerlach).

One small point, however. I was not the only member of the audience who was slightly confused by the geography. Despite designer Ellen Cairns’ southern setting – complete with what appeared to be Spanish moss and rockers on the porch – the play gradually assumes a more northern feel, the confusion further heightened by a vast array of regional American accents.

Nevertheless, this did not detract from what was a powerful and at times harrowing examination of human failing. It runs until Saturday (April 25) and is well worth seeing.