Preview: The Glass Menagerie

Entertainment

Glass Menagerie - Claire

The Glass Menagerie is one of Tennessee Williams’s best-known plays. From the few scenes this preview offered, it seems that the audience will face a rather conventional interpretation. This is no bad thing, however, as the talented acting looks set to make this production both excellent and emotionally-charged.

The Glass Menagerie centres around the Wingfield family, a mother and her two grown-up children who have not seen their father since his disappearance years ago. Amanda, the mother, is the definition of a faded southern belle, and Katie McGunagle nicely taps into her extraordinary emotional range. Her portrayal of Amanda was a little over the top at times – but then again, Amanda is nothing if not overtly dramatic.

The star of the show looks set to be Claire Bowman, playing Laura, an intensely shy young woman who has dropped out of business school because the demands of her secretarial course gave her indigestion. The play focuses on Amanda’s attempt to marry her off and this creates a poignant mix of humour and tragedy. Bowman was superb at using her facial expressions to say everything Laura was too timid to voice; the discomfort and tenseness in her eyes as Amanda declared that she would win a man with charm and vivacity made the scene both farcical and bleakly sad.

Jim, Tom’s friend and the potential suitor on whom Amanda is pinning all her hopes for Laura, also gave a good performance, combining an air of confidence with constant disclaimers and self-satisfaction with awkwardness.

Few props were used in this preview but the director promised this wouldn’t be the case in the real show. Of course, this isn’t a play where scenery has much of a role; what matters is the emotional range the characters can access. The talent of all four actors in this production should make it an affecting interpretation.

Assuming that a few wobbles, such as dodgy southern accents, are ironed out, this will be a powerful and moving production.

 

The Glass Menagerie will run from 8th-11th May (Wednesday-Saturday of 3rd Week) in Corpus Christi Auditorium, with a 2:30 Saturday matinee and 7:30 evening start time. Tickets are available from £6.

 PHOTO / Jess Hudson

 

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