The Glass Menagerie (Duke of York’s)

To my shame – I knew absolutely nothing about this Tennessee Williams classic before I watch this latest incarnation at the Duke of York’s last week, and truthfully I found the production ever so slightly hit and miss.

Its young protagonist Tom, a portrait of the struggling artist as a restless, cinema-fixated St Louis warehouse-worker, yearns for a Whitmanesque liberty and sensory plenitude, but he’s stymied by his wage-slave duty of care to his mother and sister considered mentally deficient by most.

Directed by John Tiffany of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child fame (read. Hysteria) the play unlike the recent and insanely brilliant Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf feels as thought it’s dated, and I wonder if modern audiences can ever find the relationships as winding as it’s first houses would have done?

Kate O’Flynn’s Laura, Tom’s sister, lame-footed and crippled by shyness, when he brings a work colleague for dinner whom she crushed on as an adolescent. Broadway powerhouse Cherry Jones makes her West End debut as overbearing mother Amanda and does everything that’s asked of her.

Ultimately I felt, however, everything lacked a bit of oomph.


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