12-27 September 2014
Reviewed by Amy Jones
Last night What’s Good To Do were lucky to return to one of Newcastle’s best theatres, the Northern Stage! We were to have a night of entertainment by director James Dacre’s in his adaption of Tennessee Williams classic play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”.
The play is centred around one family who is ruled by the patriarch, Big Daddy, who owns 28,000 acres of the finest plantation in the deep American South of the 1950’s.On the day of Big Daddy’s 65th birthday the characters are forced together to face the harsh truth of the world around them.
The two main characters are Brick, played by Charles Aitken and Maggie, played by Mariah Gale. Charles portrays Brick extremely well – his acting and his movements around the stage are awkward and fidgety, keeping in tune with the character that he is playing. He is truly a fantastic choice for this role. Mariah, who does a great job of holding up most of the first act with her long monologues, is also brilliant in her portrayal of a frustrated, heartbroken wife who feels trapped by her situation, with seemingly no way out apart from to keep trying to stay on the hot tin roof she finds herself on.
The simplicity of the stage helps to keep the audience focused on the central themes of the play – which are the lies people tell, even to their own family, and society in general, to make sure they keep up appearances. These ultimately leave them with deep rooted unhappiness with how their lives have turned out – such as Big Daddy feeling forced to act like he is a humble god fearing man, or Brick’s denial of his feelings which have forced him down the slippery slope of alcoholism.
Overall, I thought this was a really good adaption of this play, even with the director stepping in to play Big Daddy after Daragh O’Malley, who was supposed to play the part, was unfortunately rushed to hospital with illness. I would give this a 4/5, as the acting was very believable (especially the accents, where you really were transported to the deep south of the USA) and the story being just as relevant today as it was when it was first released. Fantastic!!
Tickets cost from £14.50 to £24
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is at the Northern Stage, Newcastle until 27 September 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.
Northern Stage, Barras Bridge,Newcastle Upon Tyne,Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RH