Watching a play that has been adapted from a film or novel is always a bit nerve-wracking. What scenes/chapters will they keep, what will they change or omit and will the plot remain fundamentally unchanged?
The Graduate, adapted for the stage by Terry Johnson, adds several scenes that are not in the original novel or film, but doing so allows for a more intimate exploration of the relationships between characters.
They include a drunken chat between Mrs Robinson and daughter Elaine, a therapy session with Benjamin Braddock and his parents (Claire Powis as a neurotic Mrs Braddock was superb), Mr Robinson in an axe-wielding craze and a moment between the reunited Elaine and Benjamin as they share their first cereal together.
This production of the comedy-drama was enjoyable and did well to create some genuine laugh-out-loud moments, particularly during Benjamin’s traumatic hotel check-in.
The actors’ lines could have come quicker at times though as the play did lack some momentum, but I’m sure this was nothing but opening night nerves and did not detract from the overall performance.
Charlie Easdown played a convincing ‘disillusioned’ youth, seduced by a bored, ‘adequately desirable’ older women, played by Victoria Dry, who was captivating and seemed at ease in the role.
Megan Reynard too was memorable in her role as Elaine.
The set, which consisted of three doors and a few changing props, worked very well and this is certainly a production Bury Theatre Workshop – which only formed in February last year – can be proud of.
The Graduate, Theatre Royal, Tuesday