BWW Review: OF MICE AND MEN, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

BWW Review: OF MICE AND MEN, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

BWW Review: OF MICE AND MEN, Theatre Royal, GlasgowSet during the Great Depression, Of Mice and Men is adapted from the 1937 novel by John Steinbeck. George and Lennie are two migrant workers who have to leave town because Lennie "did a bad thing".

It is established immediately that Lennie has learning difficulties. The opening scene sees his friend George having to remind him why they had to move on and what they plan to do next. Lennie is almost childlike in his manner and needs repetition and things explained simply to him.

Richard Keightley (George) and Matthew Wyn (Lennie) are a joy to watch. Although George gets frustrated with his friend, the genuine affection between the two is clear. Initially it seems as though George takes care of Lennie but it becomes apparent that they both need each other.

One of the things that keeps getting Lennie into trouble is that he doesn't know his own strength. He is obsessed with touching soft things and keeps accidentally killing the animals that he just wants to pet which has catastrophic consequences for him.

The other stand out performance comes from Andrew Boyer as Candy. An older man who works at the ranch that George and Lennie come to work on, he gives a very moving performance in several scenes. I'm not ashamed to say I cried- twice!

Of Mice and Men is a wonderful story about friendship and this production has been beautifully executed. The play remains true to the book and it is a classic for a reason.

With this being a popular study in english classes, I had assumed that the ending of the story was widely known. However, the audience gasps indicated that it came as a shock to some. Although the text is now over eighty years old, it is showing no signs of age and remains just as relevant and heartbreaking as ever.

Of Mice and Men is at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow until Saturday 3rd of March.

Photo credit: Scott Rylander

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