"a worthy contender, a classic"
by James Bretton for remotegoat on 26/04/09

I love the movie: so much so that I worried I may dislike this stage version by virtue of the fact that it isn't the movie. Could the classic film translate onto the confines of the stage? Is it possible to follow an iconic performance with any degree of success? The film tells the story of corruption, organized crime, murders and love...does the stage version match its intensity?

The answers are yes, yes and yes. In Berkoff's steely adaptation, he uses expressionism rather than realism to create a sense of the dockside. This is a wonderful touch that shows that Berkoff has gone to the root of the story and made it his own, rather than just representing the screen classic. He has said that he sees the story as a greek tragedy, I agree. There is a sense of pervading doom that imbues the production with an air of inevitability.

In terms of the performance, Simon Merrells, who plays Terry Malloy is not emcumbered by the weight of Brando's performance. He truly makes the role his own, and gives an impressively moody yet vunerable performance. Within the almost all-male cast, Coral Beed should be given a notable mention for her irresistible portrayal of Edie.

This is reinvention at its best.

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