For those of you mourning the loss of the constant parade of flesh that was on display throughout ITV’s summer hit “Love Island,” there may be a perfect remedy in store in the form of the latest West End revival of Tennessee Williams’ 1955 classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Never has the enduring little phrase “Sex Sells” rang more true than here, with respect to casting and directorial decisions. And yes, seeing high-profile leading actors Sienna Miller and Jack O’Connell... Read more
Benedict Andrews directs a West End revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Apollo Theatre starring Sienna Miller and Jack O'Connell.
Tennessee Williams' 1955 play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is one of the America dramatist's most well-known and popular plays, having been revived numerous times on Broadway and in London's West End. Originally opening on Broadway at the Morosco Theater on 24 March 1955 in a production that starred Barbara Bel Geddes, Ben Gazzara and Burl Ives, the play went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955.
Adapted into a film in 1958 the play had its London premiere in the same year, opening at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter) in a production directed by Peter Hall which starred Kim Stanley, Paul Massie and Leo McKern. Williams adapted the text for a revival in 1974 at the request of director Elia Kazan, introducing an alternative third and final ending.
A revival ran in London's West End in 2001 directed by Anthony Page at The Lyric Theatre starring Brendan Fraser and Frances O’Connor. Praised by the press it was described by The Sunday Times as one of the “most thrilling and distinguished accounts of a modern classic the West End has seen in years”.
In 2008 an all-African-American production was mounted on Broadway directed by Debbie Allen starring Terrence Howard in his Broadway debut alongside James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad. The production transferred to London's West End where it ran at the Novello Theatre in November 2009 starring Adrian Lester as Brick and Sanaa Lathan as Maggie with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Big Daddy. The production went on to win the Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play.
The last Broadway revival opened in 2013 featuring Ciaran Hinds as Big Daddy alongside Debra Monk, Benjamin Walker and Scarlett Johansson as Maggie.
Set in the plantation home of Big Daddy in the heart of the Mississippi Delta during the 1950s, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof follows ex-sportsman Brick who has become an alcoholic following the death of his best friend Skipper. Physically estranged from his beautiful wife Maggie 'the cat', he spends most of his time locked in his room depressed and riddled with anxiety. Maggie's desperation to have a child becomes accentuated as it is revealed that Big Daddy is dying of cancer, and whilst the rest of the family flock round him eager to solidify their inheritance, Maggie's frustration at the lack of children and grandchildren to offer Big Daddy and Big Mamma grows. As questions are raised over the relationship between Brick and Skipper, family tensions boil over as Big Daddy sees his estate being divided from under him, calling out their 'mendacity' and attempting to reconcile with his son Brick. An intense and rewarding play about family values.