The casting for this play is excellent, especially for the three leads. I was expecting Trevor Peacock to be very 'Jim Trott' but he escaped it - I hardly even recognised him. He's still very much the 'grumpy old man' character but he played the alcoholism side well, it wasn't overdone like some actors. I had trouble understanding what he was saying sometimes because it was so gruff, but I interpreted it nicely because it reflected the communication problems amongst the family.
Joanna Riding does Maggie Hobson all the justice I think she was written for. This certainly isn't a part for a weak actress! From her opening scene forcing a customer into purchases, she's excellent the whole time. Also, luckily, most of her action was facing my side of the theatre, at least I felt it was. She's on stage for most of the play, so everyone travelling far and wide to see her will not be disappointed.
But I have to say, the real revelation for me (as I was expecting JR to be good anyway) was John Thompson. I don't watch Cold Feet (but I do (still) read the Daily Mail which has showed all his family problems over the past year), so I didn't really know what he was going to be like. He was perfectly cast, I can't describe him in any other way, you just have to see his performance to know. All of the reviews seem to shine to him, and it's well deserved because he did stand out as being the surprise performance of the evening.
I'm so glad that I had the opportunity and incentive to be introduced to such a fantastically written comedy, it toured to Nottingham last year but I didn't really have much interest to see it, I regret it now because it's such a nice piece to watch.
So overall - great play, great acting, glad I saw the way it was staged in the round but would have preferred the sound to be better (though it wouldn't sound as authentic). Oh, glorious ticket prices - £8 for me, £7 for the train which is a longer journey than to London but half the price!
- USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52)
29 May 03
For a great night out rush to Manchester's Royal exchange and try to catch Joanna R as Maggie...she is simply glorious, and a real example of less is more. It's hard to look at anyone else on the stage when she is on. The other daughters twitter and flap around but all eyes are on her, even though she is still and steel. And so great to see her in a non-musical role. It is a marvellous production doing what the Exchange do best...frocks and furniture but with a lot of substance. One of the principals is worryingly shakey on lines and focus, but just watch Joanna. Also its worth staying in the theatre for the interval... - USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
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