So evocative are Ben Collins’ sound and David Murray‘s lighting designs for Kate Cherry‘s excellent production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that you can almost hear the skeeters hummin’ on the honeysuckle vine, feel the cooling breeze off the Delta, and smell the coming storm’s electricity in the oppressive air. The crackle of electricity within the Pollitt family home and the heady odour of lies and falsehood that lie at the thematic heart of this masterpiece of modern drama – the ‘smell of mendacity’ – are also wonderfully captured in the action played out with gusto in QTC’s co-production with Perth’s Black Swan Theatre Company.
Other reviewers of this production have referred to or compared it with the heavily adapted 1958 film version which starred Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives. The movie seems to have left an almost-indelible mark on the work despite the screenplay’s being openly scorned by Williams. References to the repressed homosexuality of the former footballer Brick were largely omitted from the screenplay which also included a heavily reworked third act reconciliation between father and son. The play was first directed for the Broadway stage by Elia Kazan in 1955, and went on to take out the Pulitzer Prize for drama in that year. However, and at Kazan’s urging, Williams substantially revised the work for a revival in 1974, and this is the version which has usually been produced since that time. This production may nod towards the film in its look but, make no mistake, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a great play of classic proportions and classic themes; it almost needs the stage’s size and accommodation for its playing out. Continue reading Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Queensland Theatre Company at QPAC Playhouse