The Graduate

Set in America in the Summer of 1963 – The Graduate is the Charles Webb novel (adapted by Terry Johnson which was based on the 1967 film) that 50 years on this production proves it is still a hit with a modern audience.

Benjamin is a confused kid. He’s just graduated but he can’t stand the world he lives in. He certainly can’t stand his parent’s social circle which he refuses to be a part of – even at his own Graduation bash. Ben finds himself seduced by the wife of his father’s business partner, which provides him with an entertaining summer – until he later falls for her daughter.

This play beautifully represents the confusion in the characters lives and the ultimate overcoming of it.

The set is simple but effective. I particularly enjoyed the use of the curtains and movement of the bed to simply demonstrate a change of location. At the beginning of the play, the downstairs soiree is illustrated beautifully through a gauze, with actors and image projection – including a very nice slow motion section.

The point of all this of course, is that you’re absolutely hooked by the action.

Act One mainly focuses on Benjamin (played strongly by Jack Monaghan) and his affair with Mrs Robinson. Catherine McCormack is stunning throughout. Portraying the unhappy, alcoholic wife perfectly. She has to spend alot of her time wearing very little, in which I thought the Director found the right balance for a show of this context.

The second act focuses more heavily on Benjamin’s relationship with her daughter, Elaine, played by Emma Curtis. Curtis is relatively new to the professional theatre world and has a superb career ahead of her if this performance is anything to go by. She plays the role sweetly with just the right touch of oddity.

The Graduate is fascinating, funny and downright insane. Highly recommended – particularly for a mature audience.

A talented cast of 8 bring this intriguing play to life.

This production plays Leicester Curve until 10th June:
For tickets, visit

13th – 17th June Malvern Theatres, Malvern: Buy Tickets
20th – 24th June New Theatre, Cardiff: Buy Tickets

About Author /

Rob Stanway is the Founder of At The Theatre. He has reviewed the UK's best touring theatre (and much of the west end) for this website since 2005.

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