A play based on one of Steinbeck’s greatest novels should convey the strength of the human spirit, and whilst it had plenty of dramatic appeal, it didn’t quite reach me.
An interesting but sparse set was used cleverly to show the various stages of the family’s journey; I liked the water at the front of the stage, but I found the occasionally modern props and costumes jarring.
The music for the play, provided by the cast, wove hauntingly through the piece, enhancing the desolation and despair, but also giving a rare light moment.
The parts were all competently played, especially by Andre Squire as Tom Joad and Julia Swift as Ma, who were rarely off stage, but the play didn’t come off the stage for me. I think I was in the minority, as the audience at the Nuffield appeared to thoroughly enjoy it.
Until March 25.