NODA Review for Of Mice and Men ...

Show Report

John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' tells the tragic story of George and Lennie, two migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in search of work but dream of one day settling down on their own piece of land.  These two are close friends and George has taken on the responsibility as Lennie's protector. 

Lennie is a man of great strength but with limited mental ability and as the whole play rests on this role you need someone to play the part who has great acting skills and the sensitivity to make it credible.  Jeff Foster did this brilliantly, his interpretation was sublime - what a captivating performance he gave.  Adam Guest was first-rate as George portraying a believable interpretation of the character and capturing all the varying emotions that are associated with someone who has the responsibility for the care of another person particularly one who is so dependent and needy.

The ranch they eventually seek work at has some very 'interesting' characters.  The Boss has a small-statured aggressive son, Curley, who was spiritedly played by Andrew Moore (the scene where he gets his comeuppence from Lennie was great) but his flirtatious and provocative wife I felt was somewhat understated by Chelsea Richter.  Ron Frost did a sterling job as Candy an ageing farmhand and good acting and support came from Mik Horvath as Slim, Ben Lawrence as Carlson, Tom Farthing as Whit, Ian Jones as the Boss and Jordon Myrie, who was superb as Crooks the black stable-hand.  Of course, special mention must go to Benji, the dog, for a truly dogged performance. 

A cleverly designed set enabled the differing locations to be staged with simple adaptations and the use of props which were efficiently manoeuvred by the 'stage-crew' becoming 'ranch-hands'.  I liked the functional 'watering hole' but I won't mention the fire!

Lighting and particularly the sound effects and music added to the overall ambience of the production.  Congratulations to Barry Taylor, to his creative team and to the actors for producing a really noteworthy piece of drama.  It is sad to say however, that even though the play was set over 80 years ago, there are still so many comparisons to be made with our world today.

Professional Support for Amateur Theatre

Reviewed by: Joyce Handbury

Date: Wednesday 13th November 2013

The Guildhall Theatre, Derby

Type of Production:

Producer / Director:
Barry Taylor


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