Roxana Silbert has got a pretty big responsibility resting on her shoulders directing the upcoming UK tour for her adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men, which will be making its way to a theatre near you in the first half of 2016. Not only does it have the burden of living up to the literary powerhouse might of the but, but also the impressive delivery, style and cast performances of the 1992 film.
Perhaps this is all the more true because there have been so few a number of stage adaptations of the story in the UK, so next year’s tour will stand out a lot more than your average regional theatre production. Shakespeare plays are almost always on, so a dismal adaptation can easily get lost in the crowd, but John Steinbeck adaptions in Britain in 2016 amount to just one big production – this one one – so it’ll have the weight of expectation to deal with and nowhere to hide.
The tour dates are set to start in Birmingham on Thursday the 4th February 2016 before taking in Cheltenham, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Darlington, Blackpool, Cambridge, Brighton, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Oxford. It will close out on the 28th May 2016, by which time we’ll know whether or not the city has got a top four finish to celebrate as well as a production of Of Mice And Men. Full details on all of the tour dates is below.
Ticket prices vary between theatres, but in general will range from as low as an Ayrton Senna and as pricey as a little over a pony’s uncle. In Cardiff, for example, the cheapest tickets are £9 in the upper circle during the midweek matinee and the most expensive are £26.50 in the front rows of the circle, whereas at Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre prices go from £16 to £29.50.
The story, for anyone not familiar with either the book or the film, is set in the Great Depression in the United States and centres on the arrival of two ranch workers, Lennie and George, at a farm in California. With one of the most beautiful and heartfelt dreams in literature, they stick together to try to save up enough money to buy their own piece of land by a river, but with the harshness of 1930s America they’ve had to trek across the country find work in California, much like many other similar farmers of the time, and find that their troubles aren’t too far behind them.
For us it’s one of the most enduring allegorical metaphors for the nature of the American economic crash and subsequent long-standing recession and also one of the saddest stories in both literature and film (up there with Champ, Charlotte’s Webb and Watership Down for tear tempting). It embodies the struggle, the bitter reality, crushed dreams and difficult decisions people were forced to make during a time when power, greed and oppression added to the economic difficulties of the downtrodden.
The Of Mice And Men tour is being co-produced by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the Touring Consortium Theatre Company with Silbert directing the John Steinbeck adaptation. The Consortium continues its impressive track record of producing interesting theatre productions, with a recent adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, along with runs for Brassed Off and A View From The Bridge.
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Of Mice And Men 2016 tour dates:
Birmingham, Repertory Theatre
Thursday 4th – Saturday 13th February 2016
Box Office 0121 236 4455
Cheltenham, Everyman Theatre
Tuesday 23rd – Saturday 27th February 2016
Box Office 01242 572 573
Nottingham, Theatre Royal
Tuesday 1st – Saturday 5th March 2016
Box Office 0115 989 555
Wolverhampton, Grand Theatre
Tuesday 8th – Saturday 12th March 2016
Box Office 01902 429 212
Darlington, Civic Theatre
Tuesday 15th – Saturday 19th March 2016
Box Office 01325 486 555
Blackpool, Grand Theatre
Tuesday 22nd – Saturday 26th March 2016
Box Office 01253 290 190
Cambridge, Arts Theatre
Tuesday 12th – Saturday 16th April
Box Office 01223 503 333
Brighton, Theatre Royal
Tuesday 19th – Saturday 23rd April 2016
Box Office 0844 871 7627
Edinburgh, Theatre Royal
Tuesday 26th – Saturday 30th April 2016
Box Office 0131 529 6000
Cardiff, New Theatre
Tuesday 3rd – Saturday 7th May 2016
Box Office 029 2087 8889
Tuesday 10th – Saturday 14th May 2016
Box Office 01865 305 305
Leicester, Curve Theatre
Tuesday 24th – Saturday 28th May 2016
0116 242 3560