Share |

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning at Manchester Royal Exchange

Published by: Caroline May on 8th Mar 2012 | View all blogs by Caroline May
sat night pic.jpg

Writer/director Matthew Dunster, whose adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 was such a success at this address two years ago, has now staged Alan Sillitoe’s classic working class novel of the 1950s.

Unlike other protagonists of the Angry Young Man era (Billy Liar, Jimmy Porter, Lucky Jim etc), Arthur Seaton has no desire to better himself or fulfil some inner ambition.  A true anti-hero, his nihilistic existence amounts to earning enough money to spend his free time drinking and getting laid, with the odd excursion into fighting.

Matthew Dunster pares the story down to concentrate on Arthur’s complicated love life, especially the clandestine affair with a married woman, Brenda, whose husband is one of his work-mates. 

Perry Fitzpatrick’s Arthur is a swaggering cock-of-the-walk, constantly running his hands through his teddy-boy hair-do, and Clare Calbraith is very good as Brenda, particularly in the poignant bathroom scene where she is supported by an excellent Jo Hartley.

The repetitive nature of the factory production line is imaginatively reproduced by an overhead rail which zips Arthur’s costume changes on and off the stage (design by Anna Fleischle), and a great soundtrack of rock ‘n’ roll standards evoke the period brilliantly.

Inevitably large swathes of the book are skipped over, including the iconic scene with the air gun, but the spirit of Sillitoe’s novel is fully transposed to the stage.

SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING is on until Saturday 7 April 2012
Prices £9-£33
Evenings: Mon-Fri @ 7.30, Sat @ 8pm
Matinees: Wed @ 2.30, Sat @ 4pm
Box Office: 0161 833 9833



Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.