"What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof? I wish I knew. Just staying on it I guess, as long as she can”.
Thus muses Maggie, Brick’s feisty but frustrated wife, in the first act of Tennessee Williams’ searing classic. Battling her husband’s drunkenness and debauchery and the target of her sister-in-law’s cruel and calculated barbs, Maggie desperately balances family loyalties with personal needs and desires as she clings to her “roof”.
Meanwhile, “Big Daddy” Pollitt, the richest cotton planter in the Mississippi Delta, is celebrating his 65th birthday. His two sons have returned home for the occasion: Gooper with his wife Mae and five children, and Brick with Maggie. A corrosive cocktail of greed, lies, jealousy and repressed sexuality is eating away at the heart of the Pollitt clan. Unbeknownst to Big Daddy a similar cancer is gnawing away at his guts. During the hot summer evening, the veneer of happy family life and Southern gentility is shattered, exposing personal daemons, unpalatable truths and fuelling filial rivalry to boiling point.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a masterly portrayal of family tensions and individuals trapped in prisons of their own making. Filmed in 1958 and starring Paul Newman as Brick and Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie, Next Stage’s compelling production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has Richard Matthews and Rosie Magee playing these iconic roles, with Dave Dunn as Big Daddy.