Review 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck : New Theatre, Cardiff.

My mother, who still sees me as a teenager, bought me tickets for Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck at The New Theatre in Cardiff last week. I haven’t read the book in many years, and I still remember reading it for the first time on a bus travelling through Brum, I cried my whole heart out most of the way through.
I always say that films cannot compare to the book, so I was very nervous to see a stage version. We arrived in good time to get chocolate (I was tea-total so had to have some fun!) and find our seats. We were in row C and so we had an excellent view of the stage.
The atmosphere on the stage was strong, with a rustic set and live music, the stage came alive instantly. The first people on stage were George (William Rodell) and Lennie (Kristian Phillips). Wow, these guys can act! My jaw dropped as they both brought the characters to life before my eyes. Their contrasting characters are wonderfully written by Steinbeck, and these guys did not let the book down.
From their accents to the chemistry between the two men, I was hooked from the start. I knew how the story would end, but I still couldn’t help but hope things might not turn out the way they do, they made me root for them all over again.
I adored the stage sets combined with a musical twist, and the added bonus of Dudley Sutton playing Candy gave the production a personal touch.
I am a stickler for accents, and I felt that sometimes the American drawl was lost by certain members of the cast. I always find it difficult when that happens because the story loses it momentum (for me anyway).
One of my favourite scenes was between Lennie and Crooks. I literally had to stop myself from crying. Dave Fishley has that character nailed.
The supporting actors were all good, but for me it was all about George and Lennie. In the final scene I could feel the love, pain and regret oozing from Rodell (who plays George), and as for Lennie, well he just broke my heart all over again.
So, here’s me saying I’m glad my mother bought the tickets, it reminded me of who I am and what I stand for. I felt like a teenager again, ready to change the world.
If you get chance to see the show, you won’t regret it.
Check if the show is touring near you here.


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