Theatre Royal, Brighton
10-15 June 2013
Reviewed by Meresa Bergin
I remember the first time I watched Beautiful Thing with my uncle, I was 15 years old and I had never seen anything like it before. I was taken away by the beauty in such a depressing backdrop, the courage and meaning behind the story, it taught me to always be myself.
Therefore I was thrilled to be asked to review the play, I was eager to see if it is portrayed on stage as well as it had on film.
Having never been the Theatre Royal in Brighton I was looking forward to going. The theatre hall we were in was beautiful and held a lot of charm; it was big but felt cosy and intimate. Our seats gave us a wonderful view of the stage.
Beautiful Thing is about a young boy, Jamie, trying to find his way on estate where there is not much hope but a lot of unnoticed love. His mother, Sandra clearly loves and wants the best for her son but at times seems dependant on him, always making rash decisions without much thought. And Jamie slowly falls in love with his next door neighbour Ste which is as much of a shock to him as it is those around them.
The play itself was as raw and beautiful as the film filled with hope and despair. It had moments of unbearable sadness played wonderfully against comic scenes. It explored the story in a new way for fans of the film and for those who have never seen the movie, it was easy to understand. Even though the play was made in the 90’s it was very easy to relate to the characters and the issues they were struggling with, it did not feel out of place in this time and age.
I was very impressed with Suranne Jones’ portray of Sandra, as my favourite character in the film I was eager to see her version of the role and she did not disappoint. All of the actors were outstanding, but I found Oliver Farnworth’s portrayal of Tony remarkable he stole the stage when he was on it and Danny-Boy Hatchard was fantastic it was hard to believe it was his first professional role and I can see him having a long future in the acting profession.
The set was simple but a perfect stage for the play, I was a little sad we didn’t see some of the scenes in the film portrayed on the stage but given the lack of different sets it was a breath-taking play. I also found the music perfectly fitting to what was happening on the stage and the lighting set the mood.
In all, I deeply enjoyed the play, it was different to the film in parts yet it had its own way of expressing a remarkable and beautiful story.
You should see this play and then take your friends and family to see it!
Tickets cost from £11.90 to £35.40 plus £2.85 Transaction Fee.
For more information or to book tickets click here.