Get Carter

It is unclear why, forty years after the release of the original, Get Carter requires a transfer to stage. The script, whilst enjoyable for a certain audience, is nothing remarkable and the widespread success that the film has enjoyed is largely down to Michael Caine’s iconic performance and Mike Hodges’ fantastic cinematic direction. With this in mind, a stage play seems like an odd idea.Clearly big fans of the original, it would seem that the company’s dream to recreate the film is the driving force behind the production. Unfortunately, the action remains a fantasy in their minds. Nick Bartlett’s central performance, upon which the show depends, is disappointing. His lines are littered with splatterings of oddly-positioned ellipses and any facial nuances that he may be attempting to convey are too miniscule to be noticed on stage. These could be interpreted as directorial flaws but when an actor doesn’t have the charisma to pull off such a demanding character, the error is casting him in that role. The acting also seems a little immature, as if a group of teenagers had got their hands on a cap gun. There are poorly executed forward rolls during shootouts and fake blood only appears when it’s practical to sneak it onstage. The script is well-adapted as famous, frequently quoted lines are immersed into scenes without feeling forced. The number of scene changes could easily be reduced and the play is definitely forty minutes too long, although Bartlett’s brooding pauses could be held responsible. There are some enjoyable performances from actors in multiple roles, who display an impressive range of varying physicality. George Williams was a particular highlight, creating a gallery of comic grotesques. Unfortunately the role of the protagonist will remain forever Michael Caine’s. The production was sometimes enjoyable but usually only when it reminded you of the original

Reviews by Sam Kingston-Jones

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The Blurb

Voted no.1 British film of all time. A bloody tale of revenge, redemption and brotherhood. Jack Carter returns home when his brother dies in mysterious circumstances. This is tough-talking, hard-hitting, cinematic theatre. 'Superb in-yer-face stage adaptation' (Guardian).

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