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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

4.5 star rating4.5 star rating4.5 star rating4.5 star rating4.5 star rating

Closed April 10, 2010

Debbie Allen's staging of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof with an entirely black cast mingles dark laughter and deep pain

Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

Why See Cat On A Hot Tin Roof?

Winner of the 2010 Olivier Award for Best Revival

Tennessee Williams' heated drama received an Olivier Award winning revival at The Novello Theatre in 2009. Transferring from Broadway, this production, directed by Emmy and Golden Globe winning director Debbie Allen (Fame), featured an all black cast. It was led by voice of Darth Vader himself, James Earl Jones, and Tony Award winner Adrian Lester (Company, Hustle).

The play proved to be a phenomenal hit in New York, raking in $14m dollars, and counting a large number of African-Americans (not usual theatre goers) among its audience. It was as equally well received on it's West End debut, with The Guardian noting that it brought out "Williams' savage comedy as well as his emotional pain". The review also made special mention of James Earl Jones performance as the bombastic patriarch Big Daddy, calling it "titanic". Jones later received an Olivier nomination for the part. The play closed on 10th April 2010.

What is Cat On A Hot Tine Roof About?

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof centres the powerful southern Pollitt family, gathering at the birthday party of patriarch Big Daddy. He has just been diagnosed with cancer, yet he and his wife, Big Mama, are the only family members who don't know it. The others have hidden the truth from the aging pair to spare them any pain on this day of celebration. Or at least, that's one of their motives...

With this undercurrent of deceit bubbling under the surface, tensions mount around the family dinner table. Big Daddy's son Brick has brought along his sexually frustrated wife Maggie, who is dumbfounded by her husband's lack of concern when the other Pollitt's make a move for Big Daddy's fortune. As their relationship comes to head, secrets about the true nature of Brick's relationship with close buddy Skipper are revelaed and everything descends into storm of resentment and accusations.

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Additional Information


Previews from: 21 November 2009

Opening night: 1 December 2009


Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is suitable for audiences aged 10 and upwards (strong language).

Run time

2 hours and 45 minutes with two 12 minute intermissions.

Cast and Creative


James Earl Jones as Big Daddy
Phylicia Rashad as Big Mama
Adrian Lester as Brick
Sanaa Lathan as Maggie
Richard Blackwood
Derek Griffiths
Nina Sosanya
Joseph Mydell
Peter De Jersey
Guy Burgess
Claudia Cadette
Susan Lawson-Reynolds
Yvonne Gidden


Directed by Debbie Allen
Set Design by Ray Klausen
Costume Design by Jane Greenwood
Lighting Design by William Grant
Written by Tennessee Williams


2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival


What you thought

14 reviews, average rating: (4.4 Stars)

4.5 star rating

Aaron: “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”

It was fantastic, James Earl Jones was brilliant. Strongly recommend you... more

Rachel: “Spellbinding”

Saw the show last night and thought the cast were brilliant. Really enjoyable... more

Read all reviews Write a review


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