Thurs 5th May - Sat 7th May & Tues 10th May - Sat 14th May 1988
Directed by David Hemsley-Brown
In this adaptation of his own classic novel Steinbeck tells the story of George and Lennie, two itinerant farm workers in 1930's California. The hopes, fears and final tragedy of the characters are portrayed with a warmth and humanity that bring the period and location vividly to life.
A tragedy of commitment, loneliness, hope and loss, 'Of Mice and Men' is a powerful and moving portrayal of two men striving to understand their own unique place in the world. Based on the author's own experience as an itinerant worker it was first published in 1937. The title comes from the poem 'To a Mouse' by Robert Burns.
Drifters in search of work, George and his mentally-disabled friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other - and a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch and with their friend, Candy, save enough to put a deposit on a small homestead. However, when Lennie accidentally kills the young daughter-in-law of the ranch owner while trying to stroke her hair, they have to flee their home and place of work. George tries to save Lennie from the certain revenge and violence of the vigilante mob who track him down, but in doing so, the hopes of realising their dream are shattered.
Tackling the universal themes of friendship and a shared dream, and giving a voice to America's lonely and dispossessed, 'Of Mice and Men' remains one of Steinbeck's most popular works. It was first produced on Broadway in 1937 and was voted 'Best Play' of the season that year by the drama Critic's circle. 'Of Mice and Men' was made into a film at least three times; in 1939, 1981 and 1992.
This play was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977.
|The Boss||John Scadding|
|Curley's Wife||Bernadette Russell|
|Stage Manager||Robbie Cattermole|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Nicola Scadding|
|Lighting Design||Jacquie Penrose|
|Lighting Operator||Jane Hemsley-Brown|
|Set Design||David Penrose|
|Set Construction||Peter Holding|
In a letter to his publisher in 1938, the year after the publication of 'Of Mice and Men', Steinbeck wrote "My whole work drive has been aimed at making people understand each other." Though it is in this light that both the novel and the play should be measured for their ultimate worth, such an evaluation can best be approached if 'Of Mice and Men' is treated first of all as a story. Most commentators agree that, considered solely as a story, it is a masterly demonstration of the narrator's art. In writing the novel, Steinbeck set out to produce a story in what he called the "play novelette" form. It was intended from the first that the novel would be adapted for the stage.