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Of Mice and Men review at Theatre by the Lake Keswick

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Long after this spring production has ended, Sarah Punshon’s production of this classic novel will be remembered for the enduring dramatic power of its stage adaptation and Tim Perrin’s towering performance as Lennie, the gentle man with the mental age of a small boy and the physical strength of ten normal men.

Martin Johns’ settings and Nick Beadle’s lighting set the rural scene of the American Depression well, though there is little in the pristine tidiness of stage and costume to suggest the heat, sweat and dirt of the constant search for work and the resulting hard labour for little reward.

Malcolm James plays George, Lennie’s self-appointed minder, with great sensitivity. Their scenes together reveal the love each has for the other as though they were father and son. Trouble is never far from Lennie and arrives in the guise of Curley (Joseph Raishbrook), son of the boss of the farm where the two find work, and his sluttish wife (Cressida Trew) whose selfish actions lead to the inevitable and incredibly moving end. Sympathetic performances by Nicholas Camm, James Lauren, David Leverton, Alexander James Simon as the black handyman and particularly Stephen Ley as old-timer Candy give strong support, each seeking to counter the intense loneliness of the itinerant farm worker.

Steinbeck’s themes of violence, loneliness and the pursuit of the elusive American dream make an evening of compelling theatre, unforgettable for the outstanding central performance by Tim Perrin as Lennie.

Production Information

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, March 24-April 21

Author
John Steinbeck
Director
Sarah Punshon
Producer
Theatre by the Lake Productions
Cast
Malcolm James, Tim Perrin, Nicholas Camm, James Lauren, Stephen Ley, Cressida Trew, Joseph Raishbrook, Alexander James Simon, David Leverton
Running time
2hrs 45mins
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