Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
by Tennessee Williams
April 5th to 27th 2019
Review by David Vass
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Open Space Theatre Company, Corn Hall, Diss, April 6, on tour until April 27
Open Space’s fearless exploration of classic theatre saw them tackling what was reportedly Tennessee William’s favourite play - a compelling, if relentlessly grim, examination of a family in crisis.
It is perhaps best known through the neutered 50s film adaptation, but this was William’s unexpurgated 70s rewrite that laid bare the homophobia, prejudice, and greed of the deep South.
Cathy Edwards-Gill’s opening monologue was a prodigious feat in itself, leaving Darren France little to do but react to the tsunami of words hurled at him with unremitting intensity.
His nicely understated performance came into its own later in the play, as did the welcome return of Yves Green to an Open Space production with an unusually svelte and poignantly tragic Big Mama.
The strongest performance, however, came from Tim Hall, who gets better every time I see him. An actor of great versatility (he was just as good as an introverted English schoolmaster in last year’s Browning Version), he managed to make bombastic, misogynistic Big Daddy oddly sympathetic.
Neither period nor contemporary drama, this overwrought play is a tough nut to crack, but it was refreshing to see it unapologetically attempted with such clarity and enthusiasm.
Remaining performances at Laxfield Village Hall April 12, Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft April 13, Beccles Public hall April 19, Fisher Theatre, Bungay, April 20, Hoxne Village Hall, April 26 and The Cut, Halesworth, April 27.
On a steamy night in Mississippi, a family gathers to celebrate the birthday of cotton plantation owner “Big Daddy” Pollitt. But the scorching heat is almost as oppressive as the lies that are told. His son, Brick, and daughter-in-law, Maggie, dance around the secrets and sexual tensions that threaten to destroy their marriage. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth will win out?
Tennessee Williams’ great play was made into a memorable film in 1958, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman.
FRIDAY, APRIL 5 – Wingfield Barns 01379 384505
SATURDAY APRIL 6 – Diss Corn Hall 01379 652241
FRIDAY, APRIL 13 – Laxfield Village Hall 01986 894411 (tickets also available from Laxfield Co-op from middle of March)
SATURDAY, APRIL 13 – Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft 01502 589726
FRIDAY, APRIL 19 – Beccles Public Hall 01502 770060
SATURDAY, APRIL 20 – Fisher Theatre, Bungay 01986 897130
FRIDAY, APRIL 26 – Hoxne Village Hall 01986 894411
SATURDAY, APRIL 27 – The Cut, Halesworth 0300 3033 211
All performances 7.30pm
Tickets £12 and £9.50 concessions (under 18, over 65)