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World premiere of Brokeback Mountain play is enjoyable but never quite satisfies – review

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The world premiere of new play Brokeback Mountain – based on Annie Proulx’s 1997 novel, although many of us will be more familiar with Ang Lee’s 2005 film adaptation – has a lot going for it.

The casting of Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges and rising star Mike Faist (most recently seen in Spielberg’s West Side Story) in the lead roles is quite a coup, and there’s a lot of high-profile talent attached to this production.

Dan Gillespie Sells (composer for hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) has written the songs; these are performed by Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader and her backing band, which includes renowned steel guitarist BJ Cole.

On paper this should be a rather special production, but in practice we’re less convinced. However, we’ll start with the positives: there’s some fine acting on display here, not just from our leading pair, but also Emily Fairn impresses in the sadly rather limited role of Alma, Ennis’ wife.

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