CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF – Adelaide Rep

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF – Adelaide Rep

Russell Starke as Big Daddy with 'Little Monsters', Zara Blight, Thomas Hamilton-Smith. Rachael Homes-Vickers, Jimmy White and Hammond

Reviewed by Richard Lane

June 2016

The  dysfunctional Mississippi Pollitt family was in denial. Big Daddy’s son Brick, called it “mendacity “ which described his utter repugnance at the “lies and liars” he saw within the family.

This production of Tennessee Williams’ favourite play  which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1955  was under the direction of experienced director Barry Hill, who brought  out this theme of “mendacity”  running  throughout the play.

Act 1  could have provided more tension between Brick and wife Maggie, Anita Pipprell, but pleasingly, this built  well in Act11. 

The  multi-purpose set worked for the most part  although there was the  occasional sticking point with stage movement.

The costumes for the most part were suitable except Big Momma’s, (Jude Brennan) wig was a little obvious and surely Big Daddy as a rich man, could have dressed a little less slovenly- would he not  have taken off his coat from time to time and shown us his braces which hitched his pants up to a respectable length? 

The performances were a little uneven but the role of Brick was carried with maturity and insight by Joshua Coldwell. Russell Starke who played the dying,  bullying  patriarch  Big Daddy,  demanded our attention with his physical and vocal presence.

Anita Pipprell in the role of Maggie looked stunning but needed to be a little sexier  to emphasise  the focus on Brick’s relationship with her and also Skipper.

Others to do well were  David Rapkin a jolly bumbling minister (Reverend Took), John Matsen, the dissembling Dr Baugh, Nicole Rutty a grasping and very pregnant Mae  and the avaricious older son, Gooper played by Alan Fitpatrick.

Jude Brennan struggled valiantly with Big Momma, and the nasty little offsprings of Mae and Gooper could have been even nastier.

Was Brick a homosexual we ask? Regrettably, there is no Part 2 to this intriguing, unresolved family drama. Mr Hill left the denouement of the play dangling and we are left to make up our own minds

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