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CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at Apollo Theatre

August 5, 2017

I love Tennessee Williams plays. After seeing Jack O’Connell and Sienna Miller in Benedict Andrews production of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at the Apollo Theatre in the West End I now know why. The depth of insight in his play is like a bottomless pit of revelation after revelation. My mind is still spinning as I discover more and more about the inherent dysfunction in family and society from this play.

Magda Will’s staging design is bold and brassy and provides the perfect space to expose the hidden truth at the heart of these characters lives. I have seen the play before and I enjoyed it for exposing me to life in a plantation mansion on the Mississipi Delta. In this production of the play Jack O’Connell is masterful casting and his perfect just under the edge performance provides the context for what this play is all about. Just why does he need to get so drunk to quiet his mind?

We think we get the answer in the first Act of this masterpiece in theatre and Sienna Miller is brilliant in what seems like a monolgue for the whole act. I was gripped throughout the act hanging off every word. I am not sure I have ever been pulled so deeply into the middle of a relationship on stage.

Colm Meaney, Lisa Palfrey and particularly Hayley Squires performances extend the story into the wider family during Act 2 and Act 3. I had some concerns about the blocking when there were more than three Actors on the stage but this was a minor irritant.This play has the gravitas and insight of Shakespeare’s King Lear but delivered with all of the contemporary class of a top HBO series.

 

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