Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Review by Trevor Sinclair
It’s a hot and steamy night in the Mississippi Delta, as we gather with the largely dysfunctional Pollitt family on its 12,000 acre estate, the fireworks are not only in the sky outside. Big Daddy (Hugo Weaving) is turning 65, but Big Daddy is dying and not everybody knows including his wife Big Mama (Pamela Rabe).
His favourite son Brick (Harry Greenwood) is an ex footballer who’s hiding the pain of a secret he holds by hitting the bottle – hard. His love for his wife Maggie (Zahra Newman) has long left him but she still wants his child. Then there’s Gooper (Josh McConville), the less favoured son and his wife, Mae (Nikki Shiels), with their five fat-necked red-headed kids plus another one on the way.
This new Sydney Theatre Company production, directed by Kip Williams, is an incredible emotional roller coaster ride of laughs and tears, happiness and anger. The truly brilliant cast with Harry Greenwood and Zahra Newman totally own their roles for the first 55 minutes which is Act One, and that’s just a hint of what’s to come from Hugo Weaving and Pamela Rabe in the more lengthy Act Two.
Alcoholism, relationships, loneliness, mendacity, homosexuality and death are all explored in this extraordinary Tennessee Williams play. It’s a compelling piece of 1950s theatre that’s been given a new life with a very clever, effective and uncomplicated set which lets the story breathe.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is playing at the Roslyn Packer Theatre until June 8.
Review by Trevor Sinclair