“But we sit down and talk about their performances and every night it gets better and better. It’s been great to watch their performances grow. By the time we get to opening night (March 16) they'll be firing on all cylinders!"
Norton admits he also turned to Irish sources to develop his performance as Candy.
"I turned to the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh. And I made a note in my script the other day that nobody ever touches Candy, he's a lonely soul. Poems by Kavanagh about lonely old bachelors helped me. Nobody in this play gets what they want, they're left behind, and their dream of a little piece of land never materializes.”
It’s a great story. It’s also a powerful piece about how powerless the laboring people were in the 1930s. And how powerless laboring people still are around the world.
Of Mice and Men is a strange play for Broadway to do. It’s brilliant story telling but it’s grim. Norton agrees.
“It is. It’s a story about loss and a kind of redemption. There’s a terrible shock at the end. On some nights there’s a terrible silence for maybe 10 or 15 seconds and then yells and screams of approval,” Norton says.
“The applause has been incredible already. It’s just a great piece of writing that breaks your heart.”
Of Mice and Men is now playing at Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th Street. For tickets call 212-239-6200.