So lights down and on with the play.
Act one is basically Maggie in one long monologue after another asking for the love and a baby from her growing alcoholic husband Brick (Charles Aitken). Hats off to Mariah Gale (Maggie) for being able to pull this off without a single breath it seems which actually leaves the audience transfixed. As the story unfolds though we see that Brick is drinking to get away from a house full of lies and backstabbing all on Big Daddy’s 65th Birthday.
The entrance of Big Daddy (Murray) probably would have been best disguised as if the actor was to hold the script as if it were a newspaper as it would seem to appear on his entrance. Let’s not take this little blip away from the projection in the acting from Murraythough as he gives a strong performance with a great support from Kim Cresswell’s busy-body Big Mama. You could actually feel the emotions of Cresswell of wanting to believe Big Daddy only has a spastic colon rather than cancer.
The most powerful scenes are the one-to-one between father and son touching on how two men cannot just have a ‘powerful natural’ friendship without it being seen as homosexuality, and both Brick and Big Daddy show disgust at the lies in their lives.
Throughout the play we see fleeting in and out the neglected eldest son Gooper (Matthew Douglas) and his conniving wife Mae (Victoria Elliott) who also put in strong performances of trying to claim the cotton field ranch on the deathbed of Big Daddy. As a relief from monologues and fighting for estates the characters of the doctor (Kieron Jecchnis) and Reverend Tooker (hero of the night’s production Sean Murray) who actually go against the other characters of truth telling – and with truth the emotions from Big Mama rip raw (I think I even saw tears).
And I guess that what Tennessee Williams is telling us:
“Mendacity is a system that we live in – Liquor is one way out an’ death’s the other” and that “…victory of a cat on a hot tin roof ….(is) just staying on it…as long as you can…”