John Steinbeck’s moving story set in the Depression is expertly told in Therry Theatre’s latest production.
Excellent sets, soundtrack and lighting transport the audience to 1930’s rural America when itinerant workers travelled from ranch to ranch seeking work and accommodation. The American accents are a little overdone at times and can detract from the lines but the delivery of the drama is strong. Under Geoff Brittain’s directorship the production draws you in as the cast enact the engrossing multilayered story of friendship, responsibility, loneliness, prejudice, and ultimately sacrifice.
Stuart Pearce gives a stellar performance as Lennie, a simple child-like man who doesn’t understand the world or know his own strength. Stuart’s characterisation of Lennie tugs at the heartstrings and creates empathy from the start of the play to the very end.
Leighton Vogt as George gives a sensitive performance as Lennie’s friend, torn between protecting Lennie and the desire to escape and be his own man. Their interaction throughout is superbly played and they shine against a good supporting cast.
Ranch cowboys Robert Donnarumma (the Boss), Adam Schultz (Curley), John Rosen (Carlson) and James Fazzalari (Whit) look and sound the part conveying the macho swagger indicative of the era. A good tragicomic performance from Philip Lineton as Candy adds another level of poignancy to the story with his wonderful old dog and his dreams of a better future.
Kym Clayton as Slim gives a fine performance as the wiser, more experienced, ranch hand who befriends George. Christian Best as Crooks in his first theatre performance is excellent as is Crooks’ interaction with Lennie. Ashley Bell gives an animated performance as Curley’s emotional, lonely and desperate wife who becomes the catalyst for the drama that unfolds.
Congratulations to Geoff Brittain and the team behind the scenes on a very professional production.