Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Apollo Theatre, London
Seen on August 25th, 2017
Reviewed by Jade Prince
An elaborate dance around lies and sexual tension, a warm summer night of celebration in Mississippi sees Brick and Maggie’s marriage balancing on a knife edge. With the uncertainty of the family estate on everyone’s mind the battle of the lies continues but which one will come out top?
An honest review – for the duration I was effectively a cat on a hot tin roof metaphorically in my chair, fidgety and bored, unable to sit still. It is never a good sign when multiple people become restless from the beginning of the second act.
I do not want this review to slate the show because a lot of hard work has been put into it however I shall be expressing my honest opinions. There were some good elements of the show but the negatives certainly removed all enjoyment from it.
It did not start well with act 1. The whole act consisted of Sienna Millers (Maggie) and Jack O’Connell (Brick) setting the feel of the show. Throughout you could see drops in their momentum as if they were struggling with emotional stamina. The ‘regular’ dialogue was engaging however when an argument erupts between the two characters the acting became less believable. I did not believe it one bit. In fact I was cringing slightly. It is so difficult to watch something and get really into it when the acting is not believable. Underplayed falls, bad proximity to each other with lunges and pathetic screams. (SPOILER – I’m sorry but if someone were to lunge towards me aiming to hit me with their crutch I would bloody shriek and dive out of the way!) I also found that missed a lot of the build up with Brick during the arguments because I was focused on Miller’s performance. She seemed far more connected with her character however that have may been the way it was meant to be portrayed, Brick remaining very distant from life waiting for the ‘click’ every day in order to cope.
The start of act 2 was by far the most engaging part of the show. The whole company coming together really drew me in. Although during act one we, as the audience, were given the impression of the family being out of control. I was not given that impression when the five child actors were on stage. Everything seemed very calm!
When I walked into the auditorium I was very intrigued with the set choices. It was not until the show started I was able to appreciate the set. The set was simple but effective. The only issue I found was it did not really help set the scene/time setting. The layout and colour scheme was giving me an art deco vibe however the story is set on a cotton plantation but the cast also had modern electronic devices. I was confused as to whether they were trying to update a classic or just had complete disregard to the time period.
Another thing that was very evident in the second act was the accents. They were awful! I was spending far too much time concentrating on what was actually being said. Halfway through the second act I gave up because just as I started understanding what was happening, I was lost again.
I am going to wrap this up here as I think these are the main points that let the show down. I personally would not recommend this show but if you are looking for a quiet night at the theatre where nothing much happens and you can nod off slightly, this may be for you.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof runs until October 7th at the Apollo Theatre.