Theatre Review : A Man for All Seasons Cairns Little Theatre
CAIRNS Little Theatre's A Man for all Seasons is set in the Tudor period at the time in English history when a new church was created separate from Rome.
It is based on the martyrdom of Sir Thomas More, who famously refused to agree in principle to King Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn.
It's a dramatic play, written by Robert Bolt, which examines the nature and consequences of being true to one's beliefs.
Is it better to swim with the tide or should a person stand out alone to save their immortal soul, particularly when their very mortal lives are at stake.
Sir Thomas More didn't bend to King Henry's demands and was ultimately killed.
This is a uniformly stellar cast at Cairns Little Theatre with the calibre of acting second to none.
Ralph Cotterill is wonderful as Sir Thomas More, developing his character from a man who doesn't believe he will be harmed, to a man torn on a moral hinge, to one who ultimately reaches despair.
His acting, and the acting of the rest of the cast is so good, it is like watching a good period drama on TV.
It also makes picking out actors for special mention very difficult.
With a minimal set and props, and with the help of impressive and authentic-looking costumes, the cast draws the audience into a world gone by, and holds the audience's attention at all times.
Peter Merrill is King Henry VIII, a small part in the overall course of the play, but one which he delivers to perfection.
His Henry is childlike, quick to merriment and as quick to anger, with dramatic gestures and a powerful personality.
John Lipscomb plays a conniving Oliver Cromwell very well and is particularly strong in the courtroom scene near the play's end while Tony Walsh's narrator/common man, is very powerful and natural in his many roles.
It is a long play, but John Hughes' tight direction ensures swift transitions between scenes and a dramatic pace and intensity that works very well.
Cairns Little Theatre's A Man for All Seasons is a truly fascinating play with an excellent cast, and it is well worth going to see.
>>A Man for All Seasons is running nightly at 8pm at The Rondo Theatre, Greenslopes Street, until September 15. Tickets $18 on Tuesday, $22 Wed-Sat, and concessions apply. On sale now from www.ticketlink.com.au or Ph: 1300 855 835.
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Dangerous Times : John Lipscomb and Dudley Powell in A Man for All Seasons at The Rondo