Review: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Category: Trips, Academic, General

Directed by Benedict Andrews, this adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play ‘Cat On A Hot Tin Roof’ put flesh on the bones of the script the Lower Sixth English A Level pupils had studied so meticulously in lessons.

The cast were impeccably chosen, the culmination of their clothing, mannerisms, vocal inflection and movements replicated the characters so masterfully crafted by Williams as reflections of his life and experiences. Only minor adaptations were made, so much so, the time in which the play was set seemed to be ambiguous. In this the director and cast recognised the timelessness of Williams’ work as, although featuring certain 21st century objects, the themes of sexuality, mental health, sexism and the breakdown of relationships are still as relevant now as they were in the 1950s. Typical of the director’s work, the actors did not shy away from the sexual tension and desire suggested throughout the play as the first act opened with full frontal nudity. In this, our inhibitions were stripped back and the nudity of the characters acted as a metaphor creating a sense of irony as, although open with eachother in terms of their desires, they are emotionally closed off and isolated. When writing the play initially, Williams was asked to change the ending to create a more positive outlook for the future of the characters, Andrews chose to perform the original ending. The final scene shows Maggie and Brick emotionally and physically stripped as they are completely vulnerable, their relationship lying in tatters with the carnage of props that are strewn across the stage, their future bleak.

Review by Eliza Sinclair (CO L6)

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