Jessica Lange isn't afraid to give an unsympathetic portrayal of Amanda as she badgers her daughter when her disappointment has risen to the surface. She looks ghastly in her Victorian muslin ball gown, the dress falling apart with age. Don't we hate the way she swishes the full skirt in front of the Gentleman Caller to give a glimpse of her legs in a manner intended as flirtatious, but which is actually stomach churning.
Tennessee Williams described this play as, "My most beautiful play since Streetcar, the very heart of my life." That quote has since been criticised as raising expectations of the more modern play which was special to Tennessee Williams because it is about his sister Rose, but likening it to one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century.
The all Afro-American production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof comes to London with most of the roles re-cast with Black British actors, except for James Earl Jones as Big Daddy and Phylicia Rashad as Big Mama who continue their roles from New York. Sanaa Lathan is the exception, an American, but who didn't take on the role of Maggie in New York. All of the British actors are experienced stage performers and I have the feeling that this can only strengthen the London version of the play.