Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Director: Benedict Andrews
Writer: Tennessee Williams
Cast: Sienna Miller, Jack O’Connell, Colm Meaney, Lisa Palfrey, Hayley Squires, Brian Gleeson, Richard Hansell
Seen on: 22.2.2018

Southern plantation patriarch Big Daddy (Colm Meaney) is celebrating his birthday and the remission of his cancer, and his son Brick (Jack O’Connell) and his wife Maggie (Sienna Miller) are getting ready for the party. More or less. Brick has a broken leg and is drunk already. Maggie worries about Brick’s brother Gooper and his wife Mae (Hayley Squires) who she believes are trying to cut them out of the estate. And that’s not the only tension in the family. And things aren’t exactly great between Brick and Maggie either.

I really enjoyed this production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, even if not on all counts. But it’s a strong version of an excellent play and a great evening of theater.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a character-driven play, so the cast is extra important. And on that count, I can barely find any fault with the production. I admit that I had my doubts about Jack O’Connell at first, but he managed to win me over minute by minute. And I swear it has nothing to do with how naked he gets. Sienna Miller, Lisa Palfrey (who plays Big Momma), Hayley Squires and Colm Meaney being strong every second on stage.

Palfrey and Squires have the additional strength that they manage to bring out the humor that is hidden in the text and gets lost when you just read it (or at least it got lost for me). But with or without the humor, they really are strongest together, bringing those relationships alive in all of their depth.

The stage design was a little too minimalist for my taste and a little strange, but it did work for the most part. It definitely gives enough room to the cast in any case.

I was a little weirded out at the audience reactions at some parts – there was laughter at some of the cruellest parts of the play (Tennessee Williams doesn’t do hope or nice) and it seems that everybody thinks that everything is supersexy about the play when it really isn’t, even when people are naked. But I guess that’s only very partly the production’s fault. For me, it was a very emotional, touching evening that I enjoyed a lot.

Summarizing: really good.

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