Tennessee Williams Classic Reimagined At Curve

This autumn brings Tennessee Williams’s Cat On A Hot Tin Roof to the stage at Curve in from 11 – 26 Sep. Directed by Anthony Almeida, winner of the Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) and Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2019, this bold new revival of Williams’s lyrical Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece is set to be a blazing portrayal of what it takes to survive in a society where we’re all desperate to feel free.

Here, director Anthony Almeida talks about what the play means to him, his ideas for presenting the show in 2020 Britain and how he believes Cat On A Hot Tin Roof paved the way for shows like Fleabag.

“It’s an iconic text which you either read in schools, or you know of it, or you may have seen the film. I already had a version in my head, however, when reading it I was shocked to discover that the play I thought it was isn’t the play Tennessee Williams actually wrote. It consists of so many stirring, complex facets and I’m keen to explore these, especially the more nuanced ones.

“A lot of the time with the classics, there are assumptions as to how to do these texts, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is steeped in an American nostalgia. There’s a sense of reverence to the period setting that means we don’t really engage with the emotional truth of it.

Anthony Almeida

“I found that actually these aren’t historical and whimsical characters from 1950’s America, these are flesh and blood 2020 human beings for Britain now. Partly that’s to do with the extraordinary truth and beauty in which Tennessee Williams has tried to share some of those big questions of what it is to live. I feel like I wrestle with that a lot, how do I find my place in the world? Particularly as we’re living through such a complex time and locally, nationally or globally I am seeing people suffer for the decisions of others. What I am asking of myself and the world, and also what Williams is asking in this play, is how do we give space to, or protect people who lack the egotism to protect themselves? This makes it sounds like a really heady play but actually it’s a play full of heart, it is just humanity on stage.

“It’s a cruelly funny play as well. In a way it’s a precursor to Fleabag, partly because it’s so profound in talking about female sexuality and done with sharp wit and irreverence, but such emotional truth as well – honest on how people are all harbouring a much deeper emotional wound, the wit being their survival bandage. That felt really exciting for me, thinking how this play can be created along those lines and also in the vein of King Lear as this big family showdown succession drama for the experience of a night out, it feels really alive and electric.”

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is a Made at Curve, Rose Theatre Kingston, English Touring Theatre (ETT) and Alexandra Palace co-production supported by grant funding from the RTST.

Tickets for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at Curve are available to book now.
For further information, visit www.curveonline.co.uk
You May Also Like