Although it didn’t quite all go to plan (my ticket holder arrived after the play started so we had to watch the first segment on a TV screen in the bar) I still found it very enjoyable. So here’s my five on it:
1: Phylicia Rashaad. What a legend this woman is. I grew up watching her on Cosby Show and have admired her ever since. She always seemed so respectable and strong I couldn’t imagine her playing the loud and fractious character of Big Mama. By the end of that play though I had to give her a standing ovation she was amazing and really stole the show for me.
2: Sanaa Lathan and Adrian Lester. She did really well as Maggie. In my eyes Elizabeth Taylor set the bar quite high for the role of Maggie but I definitely thought Sanaa took it on. Adrian’s accent however seemed to dip in and out which was distracting… wasn’t entirely convinced by his broodiness either but he did ok.
3: James Earl Jones shocked us all. As Big Daddy, James Earl Jones took to playing the crassest, brashest, most cantankerous man you could imagine with so much conviction. The shock was when he started swearing… I heard someone behind me saying “Oh Wow! James Earl Jones is swearing” like they’d just seen Father Christmas smack a child and set fire to the sack of presents. Yes the honourable James Earl Jones went there.
4: The play versus the film. I loved the play but I prefer the film version (see my Cat On A Hot Tin Roof movie review). It’s nothing to do with the actors who were outstanding but the film is just an excellently edited version of the play. Watching the play I found some of the monologues a little too much and I prefer the way the film ends too.
5: That said I thoroughly enjoyed it overall. It was great to see one of my favourite stories performed in front of a large audience and be able to share in all the laughs and gasps. Plus seeing such tremendous talent altogether in such a performance is something I’ll never forget.
Thought you might enjoy seeing some opening night footage. If you haven’t seen the play yet I highly recommend you book your tickets asap.