Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Sydney Theatre Company)

ABR Arts is generously supported by ABR Patrons and Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.
Tim Byrne Monday, 06 May 2019
Published in ABR Arts

Elizabeth Taylor played Maggie to Paul Newman’s Brick in Richard Brooks’s 1958 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; a more perfect sexual promise left unfulfilled was never committed to celluloid. But if you want truly pyrotechnical sexual chemistry, it’s hard to look past Taylor’s onscreen work with her real-life husband Richard Burton. There was something prurient, sure, but also undeniably erotic about that glimpse into a real marriage that lent their performances an enduring electrical charge. Kip William’s production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for Sydney Theatre Company attempts something a little different: a real-life father and son cast in the roles of Big Daddy and Brick, presumably in the hope that some familial sparks might fly. The result couldn’t be further from the Taylor–Burton template: not so much a power blackout as a total failure in the design of the circuitry systems.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in ABR Arts
Tim Byrne

Tim Byrne

Tim Byrne is a freelance writer and theatre critic for Australian Book Review and Time Out Melbourne. He is currently working on a novel. Tim is also a bookseller and interviewer, running a series of author interviews at Avenue Bookstore. He maintains an arts blog that focuses on theatre, film, and books.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.