Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Titus Andronicus

To say the least, this is a very bloody play and gave much food for thought. One thing I learnt from it was that you don't execute the Queen of the Goth's daughter - no good will come of it.

The company were the same players as for The Tempest and thus a tight crew. The set, as always at Bard, was brilliant, just brilliant, everything is so cleverly thought out and used. Simple pieces are tools for the actors. The lighting was similarly superb, there was some evocative uses of shadow and illumination was integral to the set and to the piece.
Fight and play were perfectly choreographed and delivered by the two Goth brothers, one of whom was Kyle Rideout, whom we have seen so often now, turning in polished, thoughtful performances.

The Queen of Goths, played by Jennifer Lines, Ariel in The Tempest, was magnificent, just magnificent.

Director Kim Collier, in my opinion did a first class job. Creative Director Christopher Gaze is always one to encourage gender bending of characters, and in Titus, this was done with impact, making more powerful and creating extra layers. Firstly, it was the Queen's daughter who was killed by Titus's sons, giving even more emphasis to the motivation for all the subsequent atrocities, and then the Emperor's brother, Bassianus, was played as a woman, Bassiana, so that when her wife is raped and mutilated it once more strengthens the sense of outrage.

If there was a weak link, I would have to say it was the costume design. The designer was NOT Christine Rimer who dressed The Tempest so artfully. The designer for Titus really has a thing about showcasing her own suits, which are beautiful, and yet not suitable suits. The Goths were cleverly clothed, although to be fair, most of us could have come up with their outfits - just think Goth - but the Romans. Meh. Could do better.

The music wasn't anything special either, which is a shame. I'm really getting a sense of how it all fits together this year, of how every element has to be created by a magician.

Nonetheless, it was spellbinding, there were nothing BUT outstanding performances. Now I'm looking forward to Twelfth Night.


Sleepy said...

This is why I love you mate, you give a shit about Shakespeare!
Whereas I, think it's all a load of bollocks.

Schneewittchen said...

I do, I do, 'tis true.

Sleepy said...

Someone's got to!

Kevin said...

Sleepy, the trick is that you can only appreciate it when done with a Canadian accent!

Sleepy said...

Kev... I think that's how the man himself imagined it being done!