by Clifford Odets

Presented by Bawds at Cambridge Junction

Reviewed by Suzanne Jones

Having never seen or read the play before I had no idea what to expect or indeed what a treat I was in for.

From the moment the audience entered the theatre the cast were in character, handing out programmes and creating the all important atmosphere of
what was to come. The set, by Barry Brown and Cathy McCluskey, was minimal and exactly what was needed. The costumes and props were
spot on as were the hair styles. The opening prologue was direct and engaging as each character delivered their piece,
but the play really took off when the lighting changed as we switched to the Cab Drivers’ Union meeting
and Harry Fatt, excellently played by Colin Lawrence, burst onto the stage.

From then on the play never lost momentum. Cue bite was so good at times it left me breathless.
Atmospheric lighting by Martin Avery, and New York street sounds by Barney Brown added
to the production in a lovely understated way; the incidental music and sound effects were perfect.

All the actors gave fine beautifully judged performances and there was no weak link in the production,
with lovely performances by Sandra Birnie as the world weary stenographer, Helen Holgate as Edna,
Peter Simmons as Fayette and Andy Waller as the quietly
menacing Henchman.

I just have to single out the third ‘episode’ – The Young Hack and His Girl -  for particular praise,
with Florrie played by Alex Ciupka and Jonathan Totman as Sid. This was a beautiful
scene directed and played with great sensitivity that was exceptionally moving.

This was a wonderfully directed ensemble piece by Nick Warbuton who certainly
knows how to get the best out of his cast with each actor making the most of their parts.

If I lived nearer Cambridge I would certainly come to see it a second time.

CLICK HERE for Production Photographs

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