[3_stars]

1459804_10153455805155077_1169159238_nLUDS started off this semester’s season of drama with an adaptation of the classic American novel, Of Mice and Men. Adapted by into a play by original author John Steinbeck himself, the dramatization of Of Mice and Men brings a well-loved book to the stage.

Of Mice and Men follows the story of life-long friends and ranch workers George Milton and Lenny Small during the American Depression. With Lenny having the mentality of a child, George has to do his utmost to keep him out of trouble however despite all of his efforts he cannot stop the tragic events that unfold once they start in a new job. Having to deal with new people, such as the angry boss’ son Curly and his promiscuous wife, proves difficult for Lenny with his only comfort being George’s promise that they will have their own farm one day and that Lenny can “tend the rabbits”. Of Mice of Men explores human emotion when faced with the race and class issues of the 1920s.

With the challenge of putting on such a well known story, directors Mary Cooper and Mark Raynor did very well. Christian Darnell as Lenny Small was fantastic with his child-like innocence being ever present and he never lost the character once. His characterisation was perfect. You could really see the frustration within Greg Vicary’s face as he played George Milton with much patience and the ending especially with much emotion and sensitivity. George Parsons and Devan Pankhania as Candy and Crooks also had brilliant posture as they played characters way beyond their years with believability.

The presence of Great Plain Sundance playing country music before the show started gave the Stanley Theatre a great atmosphere as you entered and found your seats. They also proved to be a distraction to fill the long blackouts which occurred whilst the sets were changed for different scenes. Despite the sets being fantastic and very effective, the time it took to set them up slowed down the pace of the play with it unfortunately making it hard to keep interest.

Having said that, the acting was truly fantastic and as ever Of Mice and Men shows the talent of LUDS to create such emotive characters with fantastic direction. It’s on for one more night so make sure you get down to the Stanley Theatre to watch it!

Tickets available on the door or at the Guild Reception. It’s on for one more night, Friday 15th November.