The Arts

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Shaw Festival
Written by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Eda Holmes
Featuring Moya O’Connell, Gray Powell, Corrine Koslo, Jim Mezon, Patrick McManus and Nicole Underhay
Royal George Theatre
May 3 to Oct. 23, 2011

Mounting a familiar play, like Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, is tricky business.

Luckily, clever director Eda Holmes delves deeply into character relationships and puts real people on stage. The men, in particular, give superb performances.

Gray Powell is the perfect Brick, beautiful and detached. Jim Mezon’s blustering and cruel Big Daddy proves, once again, he is one of the best actors in Canada. Patrick McManus as Gooper actually finds some sympathy in the role.

Unfortunately, the women lose words, either due to accents or softness. Moya O’Connell as Maggie shows all the repressed sexuality and desperation, but her voice does not reach far beyond the stage. Corrine Koslo as Big Mama is brilliant as the put upon matriarch, but there is word garble. Nicole Underhay as the scheming Mae is a tiger, but also has diction problems.

Nonetheless, the Shaw Festival’s production is compelling theatre.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof continues at the Royal George Theatre until Oct. 23.

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