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Stage adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic novel Of Mice and Men in London directed by Jonathan Church.
An extraordinary tale of two friends; their loyalty and their dreams. Of Mice and Men is set against the backdrop of America's Great Depression, George and Lennie are determined to buy a small farm of their own after years of ekeing out a living as itinerant farm workers. The two friends soon discover the flip side of their American Dream and the friendship is tested to its limits. This Birmingham Repertory Theatre production returns to London's West End following a very successful and critically acclaimed seven week season at London's Savoy Theatre in 2003.
The cast for this production of Of Mice and Men features Joe McGann as 'Lennie' and Andrew Schofield as 'George' (Old Vic Theatre February to April 2004). Original revival cast featured Matthew Kelly as 'Lennie' and George Costigan as 'George' (Savoy Theatre October to December 2003). Production directed by Jonathan Church with designs by Simon Higlett, lighting by Tim Mitchell and music by John Tams.
"Matthew Kelly is a revelation as simple-minded Lennie Small, a giant of a man who doesn't know his own strength and has no idea of his weaknesses, either. Like a child, he loves small, soft things. He catches mice to keep in his pockets but his petting is too rough and invariably he kills the creatures with kindness... Jonathan Church's atmospheric, sweaty, dusty, tense and rewarding production gets most things right. But the individual labourers could be more sharply defined and there could be an even more combustible sense of the suspicion, loneliness and degradation that infects the stinking bunkhouses where these misfits live, but it needs no more than tweaking. Highly recommended." The Mail on Sunday
"Jonathan Church captures perfectly the mixture of gruffness and elegy in John Steinbeck's story of California dreamers... Matthew Kelly might not seem natural casting for Lenny and to begin with he overdoes the gangly drooling: his tongue is always lolling out of his mouth, his eyes popping. But the more mute he is, the more convincing he becomes: a terrifying super-strong baby, pleading to be lulled with familiar stories, tucking himself carefully into bed as if he were his own doll. He has strong support from George Costigan in the difficult, understated role as the friend, protector, perhaps admirer - and finally assassin. The evening also boasts the year's most grisly sound effect: a whole handful of knuckles being noisily mashed." The Observer
"Things begin well enough. Matthew Kelly must be near on 7ft tall, which helps if you play Lennie, the gentle giant who can only kill what he loves. He's like a big, middle-aged child who vaguely knows that he's accident-prone... Alas, Kelly overdoes the retarded bit: the look of inane wonder soon becomes tiresome... Jonathan Church's Birmingham Rep production rumbles monotonously along like one of those improbable stagecoaches in ancient westerns: all the bits and bobs are right, but you can't believe it will ever get there. Instead of speaking, the actors mostly roar, which is as tiring to listen to as it must be to do. The American accents were almost as dodgy as my own, and that's very dodgy." The Sunday Times
Of Mice and Men in London at the Savoy Theatre previewed from 21 October 2003, opened on 23 October 2003 and closed on 6 December 2003, returned to London at the Old Vic Theatre previewed from 3 February 2004, opened on 12 February 2004 and closed on 3 April 2004.