Tennessee Williams: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre / Young Vic, London (Director: Benedict Andrews)
By Sascha Krieger
Of course, it’s hard not to think of Trump Tower. Instead of a 1950s Mississippi plantation mansion, Benedict Andrews‘ take on Tennessee Williams‘ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is located in front of a massive gilded wall, courtesy of Swiss set designer Magda Willi. This is a golden cage Williams‘ characters are caught in and it’s one clearly place in the here and now (as proven by the frequent use of mobile phones). A neon rectangle frames the stage which in itself is a rectangular island in a sea of shiny nothingness. All is polished, all is a lie. The setting – only a (black!) bed, a shower and a cosmetics table plus a few bottles of whiskey and a bag of ice are left as remnants of the real world – feels like a mixture of Beckettian emptiness and the all-surface world of reality TV. Where in Beckett everything beyond the stage is nothingness, here it’s the horror of the greed-ridden, image-based reality of today’s late-stage capitalism inhabited by cloned child monsters half Chucky half beauty pageant. And by adults that seem more like mechanical puppets, robots of the eternal hamster wheel of success.