Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Of Mice and Men shows Sunday

Published:Friday | December 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Contributed Chris O'Dowd (left) and James Franco take the curtain call in Of Mice and Men.

Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee James Franco (Spider Man (2002), Spider Man 2 (2004), Oz the Great and Powerful, 127 Hours, Milk) and Tony Award nominee Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids, Girls) star in the hit Broadway production Of Mice and Men, filmed on stage by National Theatre Live.

The production shows on Sunday at 11:30 a.m., Palace Cineplex and Palace Multiplex.

This landmark revival of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck's play is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a heartbreaking testament to the bonds of friendship. It has been hailed as: a "moving masterpiece" by Time Magazine; "gripping, grounded and emotionally penetrating" by the Hollywood Reporter and "a starry, stinging and powerful production" by USA Today.

Required reading in many schools, Steinbeck's play is based on his novella of the same name, which was published in 1937. It tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two nomadic ranch hands who roam across California in search of job opportunities during the Great Depression in the USA.

George Milton is an intelligent-but-uneducated man, while Lennie Small is a man of stature and strength, but limited mental ability.

Common dream

Both are en route to another part of California in Soledad, in hopes of attaining their common dream of settling on their own plot of land. Lennie longs to tend to (and touch) soft rabbits on the farm, as he loves touching soft animals, although he always kills them. This dream is one of Lennie's favourite stories, which George (who has no faith in it) constantly retells.

The two men were run out of town in Weed, California, after Lennie's tendency to stroke soft things landed him in an accusation of attempted rape, when he touched a young woman's dress and would not let go. The men develop a kinship and George is Lennie's protector, despite the latter's irritating antics.

The theme of friendship is a thread throughout the plot.

Of Mice and Men is based on Steinbeck's own experiences as a bindlestiff in the 1920s (before the arrival of the Okies he would vividly describe in The Grapes of Wrath) and the title is taken from Robert Burns' poem To a Mouse. The poem reads in part: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft agley." (The best laid schemes of mice and men/Often go awry).

The play is directed by Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circles award winner Anna D. Shapiro (Broadway's August: Osage County) and also features Leighton Meester (Country Strong, Gossip Girl) and Tony Award winner Jim Norton (The Seafarer).

The production was nominated for two Tony Awards, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for Chris O'Dowd.

The National Theatre Live, NT in London, is of the UK's most prominent publicly funded theatre companies. The theatre presents a varied programme, including Shakespeare and other international classic drama; and new plays by contemporary playwrights.

The series continues as below:

Performances Date Time

n JOHN January 18, 2015 11:30 a.m.

n Treasure Island March 8, 2015 11:30 a.m.

Tickets are on sale at the box office of the Palace Cineplex and Palace Multiplex and via the web at www.palaceamusement.com, with a Palace Card.