Tennessee Williams’ drama has been seen in a number of forms on the West End, with the last of its retellings starring James Earl Jones and Adrian Lester in an Olivier award-winning all black production.

Now, director Benedict Andrews has taken a stab at the well-loved classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, starring feature film stars Jack O’Connell is Brick and Sienna Miller as Maggie. This is not Andrews’ first attempt at a play from the American playwright, having directed Gillian Anderson in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic just last year.

The story follows a family party set in the plantation home of a wealthy tycoon known as Big Daddy, examining the relationships among its members, primarily between his son Brick and Brick’s wife, Maggie “the cat”.

Times Series: Colm Meaney's Big Daddy and Jack O'Connell as BrickColm Meaney's Big Daddy and Jack O'Connell as Brick

This production is far from the classic versions produced in the past: an iPad controls the mood music in the bedroom compared the regularly seen gramophone, with the dark room filled with black fabrics and a single shower, which becomes the centre of Brick’s isolation and grief. It is set against a reflective, gold floor and ceiling, which blends so delicately it can be hard to tell where the ceiling stops and the floor begins, as well as a single neon beam framing the room. Designer by Swiss designer Magdi Willi, the set is almost a prison as it holds the central couple and the rest of the family hostage in their own hostility and anger toward one another.

As in many of Williams’ plays, motifs of alcoholism, homosexuality, marriage, ageing and “mendacity”, the latter of which receiving a great deal of discussion between Brick and Big Daddy, are prominent throughout long stints of dialogue and monologue from the characters.

Miller’s performance is dynamic, her movements keeping the audience engaged as she talks the hind legs off a donkey about her in-laws, Big Daddy’s health and the challenges of being a women, all to the vexation of her husband, whose recent trauma is leading him down a selfdestructive path. O’Connell’s version of Brick is particularly unresponsive - he is utterly unable to process emotion and desperately attempts to run away from potential truths that could damage the memory of his beloved friend, to the point where his expressions are almost entirely blank as he pours countless glasses of whiskey.

Times Series: Hayley Squires as MaeHayley Squires as Mae

The real star is Hayley Squires’ Mae, the sister-in-law to Brick and Maggie who is forever rubbing their noses in her childbearing abilities and vying for Big Daddy’s attention, love, and money. Her performance as the social climbing wife of Brick’s brother, Gooper, is the highest energy and her presence always spells the start of an argument, enjoying every deliciously cruel line she spits in Maggie’s direction.

The shower becomes a centrepoint of Brick’s despair, as he tries to wash himself clean of those who propagate the “mendacity” he has come to despise, as well as the lies themselves, with Big Momma eventually joining him after her pain at Big Daddy’s disgust with her becomes too much to bear.

While stylistically the production offers something fresh in its modernity, the deep southern American accents(despite O'Connell's dropping every so often) and dialogue confuse the adaptation overall, as the themes and words Williams’ wrestled with for much of his life seem wedded to the time he wrote them, or at least to the way in which society moved in those times.

This production, while performed with vigour by all those involved, does not do anything so new as to turn this into a truly revived revival.