Year 12 English students visited the Phoenix Picturehouse last Thursday evening to see a live-streamed performance of the Young Vic’s new production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on A Hot Tin Roof.
Written in 1955, it’s an incredibly intense experience, often harrowing in its uncompromising dissection of the lies we tell to shield ourselves and each other from the consequences of being alive.
Williams himself wrote of this, his favourite play, that “it says only one affirmative thing about ‘Man’s Fate’: that he has it still in his power not to squeal like a pig but to keep a tight mouth about it” – which might sound like a recipe for a depressing night out. But with brilliant direction from Benedict Andrews, and utterly mesmerizing acting from a stellar cast that included Sienna Miller as the sexually frustrated Maggie, Jack O’Connell as the alcoholic Brick, and Brian Gleeson as the terminally ill Mississippi plantation-owner, Big Daddy, the audience were kept on the edge of their seats throughout.
Truly an explosive introduction to our coursework topic, Post War American Drama.