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REVIEW: The Graduate at West Yorkshire Playhouse

graduate

We sent our theatre reviewer Matthew Jameson to check out The Graduate at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

“Are you trying to seduce me Mrs Robinson?”

These iconic words burst into life as this fantastic play shines to the stage at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. The Graduate, adapted by Terry Johnson and based on the novel by Charles Webb, is a fascinating and multi-layered drama with injections of hilarious comedy throughout. Very poignant in parts then lifting the mood with dry humour at exactly the right moment. Benjamin (Jack Monaghan) is a young man having finished school and back home with his parents in a social scene he hates. Enter Mrs Robinson (Catherine McCormack) a middle aged attractive woman with some seriously dark demons looking for some excitement, and so the affair begins. The web of lies and deceit circulate around and around until Benjamin meets Elaine (Emma Curtis), Mrs Robinsons daughter.

In the first scene, we see Mrs Robinson and the tension is high as we know exactly what to expect and we are definitely not disappointed. Catherine McCormack, who you may remember from the Mel Gibson film Braveheart, gives an electrifying performance portraying this cold, heartless and almost emotionless character perfectly. Every movement and word drips with distain and the dry comments cut to the bone with no remorse making you laugh but feeling a little sorry for her too. Jack Monaghan plays Benjamin effortlessly, communicating his frustrations, naivety and lack of understanding of the real world and how to behave.

This all contributes to the climax of the play where all the characters show their true colours, leaving the next chapter for us to decide. This truly is a masterpiece and resonates long after you’ve left the theatre. A class act not to be missed!

The Graduate runs until the 27th May at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

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