Location: Novello Theatre, London
James Earl Jones, famous as the voice of Darth Vader (Star Wars) and Mufasa (Lion King), stars in this amazing production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Under the direction of Debbie Allen, this production is definitely a theatrical delight.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play, written by Tennessee Williams, is about a night of truths and revelations as experienced by a Southern family. Big Daddy (Jones) is dying of cancer, and his family does all they can to hide this fact from him. Add in the dynamics of his alcoholic son Brick (Adrian Lester) and his beautiful, 'catty' wife Maggie (Sanaa Lathan), tensions build up quickly and the family arrives at a a shocking climax.
This production is unique as it stars an all-black cast. It certainly changes the political context of the play: Big Daddy was originally a 'redneck' and he symbolised the decay of the white, Southern society, but in this performance he is a 'Mississippi field-hand'. However, the drama between the family members are just as painful and real, the dialogues are just as witty and acerbic.
Introducing an all-black cast to the West End show is an applaudable decision since it has now attracted a new set of multicultural theatre-goers.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof plays at the Novello Theatre until April 2010.