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Triumphant exploration of emotions

PUBLISHED: 11:50 29 May 2001 | UPDATED: 15:05 22 October 2010

The Glass Menagerie, by STRADA @ Stradbroke High School

The Glass Menagerie, by STRADA @ Stradbroke High School

By JANET CHAMBERS

The Stradbroke group had a hard act to follow after their much acclaimed Shadowlands but director David Green again scored a triumph.

The play set in southern USA in the late 1930s posed many challenges, all of which were overcome with a well-chosen cast and a strong stage crew.

The story concerns a deserted mother whose plans for her children are thwarted when Laura is too scared to face the world while her brother Tom is determined to escape from the tyranny of work and home.

Much in this play reflects the life of playwright Tennessee Williams, whose traumatic childhood was followed by an equally difficult time at university.

His sister had mental problems and Williams later suffered from guilt for neglecting to care for her – echoed in the theme of the play.

The character of the domineering, but devoted, Amanda was based on his mother and wonderfully portrayed by Yves Green who veered from eccentricity to touching affection.

Grant Filshill is excellent as her son, Tom, who is resentful of his mother's attempts to control him.

Emma Matthews as Laura for long periods has to rely on facial expressions to show her emotions which she did admirably.

One of the most moving scenes was when she is gradually awakened to experiencing her first romance but like one of her beloved glass animals her dreams are shattered.

Simon Evans is most convincing as her boyhood hero, Jim, who almost succeeds in bringing Laura to life.

The set was well designed and the revolving Unicorn backed by haunting music composed by Jackie Hughes was an interesting innovation.


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