Review: Of Mice and Men

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A THEATRE full of teenagers does not sound like a recipe for a quiet and cultured night out.

But the fact that the dozens of GCSE students at Nottingham Playhouse watching the new production of John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, were virtually silent throughout, is testament to how good it is.

I say virtually silent because though they and everyone else were transfixed by the classic story, the appearance of Candy’s old dog, a beautfiul blue merle collie, did cause an outburst of ‘aahs’.

In fact, he almost stole the limelight from the outstanding cast of humans!

The focus of the play is the friendship between the two leading roles, Lennie and George, and this was beautifully portrayed by John Elkington and Daniel Hoffmann-Gill.

Hoffmann-Gill, as simple Lennie, was particularly good, giving a touching performance as the giant who does not realise his own strength.

Their quest for a better future, where they own their own little farm and have only themselves to answer to, is always a distant dream.

The struggles of their life are reflected by the sparse set, which manages to create a distinct sense of the American agricultural land, complete with a feeling of real bleakness.

Issues of class and race and gender discrimination are just some of the other topics of discussion, but it is the tragic ending that leaves its mark on the audience, as the feeling of impending doom becomes a reality.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is on at the Nottingham Playhouse until 17th November.