Story added: 11:34am Thu Nov 22, 2012
Emotions run high as classic tale unfolds
By Dawn Bond
Just like Arthur Miller’s Death Of A Salesman, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men follows the search for the American Dream with tragic consequences.
On at Nottingham Playhouse, this was a wonderful sell-out production, directed by the venue’s artistic director Giles Croft.
The simple but effective set, designed by Michael Vale, allowed the text and action performed on the open stage to tell the story with nothing to get in the way.
The yellow, curved set depicted the open plains of 1930s California and, with clever use of lighting from Aideen Malone, and reinforced steel mesh suspended from the ceiling it turned into a ranch and its rooms.
John Elkington is excellent as the smart-talking George who travels with the tall, strong, but simple, Lennie.
They are looking for work so they can save money and buy their own farm to live off the land.
George spends most of his time trying to keep Lennie out of trouble while keeping on the right side of his boss.
Daniel Hoffman-Gill is outstanding as Lennie, who loves to pet things but does not know his own strength.
Daniel plays his character with such sincerity you cannot help but feel sorry for him.
Just like a big kid he has his own dreams and loves hearing George tell him how one day they will be free.
Robin Bowerman, of Collingham, makes a wonderful Candy, playing the old-timer with lots of innocence, who is devoted to his dog.
Candy buys into the American Dream too and says he will help George and Lennie find the money.
David Beckford is constantly looking for a fight as the evil Curley, who hates everyone especially his new wife, played by Bridie Higson.
She is so lonely that she spends too much time on the ranch talking to the farmhands.
The rest of the cast comprises Jim Findley as Crooks, who looks after the horses, Karl Haynes and Robin Kingsland as workers Whit and Carlson, and Mark Jardine as Slim, who is in charge of the workers.
At the end you could hear a pin drop, and quite a few members of the audience got out their tissues to wipe away their tears.
A very moving and thought-provoking production
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