Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Titus Andronicus. By Mr William Shakespeare.

Not a play that I've ever felt I needed to see. And then we read it and I felt I needed to see it even less. What a gore fest. Death after death. Revenge after revenge. Bloodthirsty person vies with bloodthirsty person to see how can notch up the biggest head (literally) count. I'll dabble with death when 'necessary' (when dead already like Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us or gracefully dead like Some Explicit Polaroids or plot demanding like Et tu, Brute) but I'd rather avoid that. There's plenty enough of it going around as it is.

But David Grimes, a Edinburgh theatre's Tarantino, feels no such qualms it seems so he presented Titus Andronicus to the world a week or so ago. 

And a very lush Titus it was too. 

Set in a hard won sandpit (the desert) with a casual set of innocent stairs sitting in one corner (soon to be gallows) and a casually veiled tent in the other, this was SUCH a beautiful production. I sat through it bursting with impressedness. Imagine that I know people as clever as this. 

There were some really brilliant performances. Helen was lovely as ever. Iain Goldie did a cracking job. I hope he'll continue acting into 2016 before he becomes too cool for school (and EGTG). Matt and Oli were great fun in their cavorting. Alan was disconcertingly believable in his - accessories. Richard G did a great blinkered and blinded to the true version of events tornado-ing around him. Titus (Charlie) was a lovely wistful try hard villain. And I was selfishly delighted that two thirds of my forthcoming Fringe show were both excellent.

But the choreography was half of the wow, the effects were all executed (again literally) with aplomb and the lighting made up the other 44% of theatre magic. The satsumas on the table in the final scene were the final 1% of fairy dust. 

Hats off to the cast and crew for abandoning themselves to this astonishly difficult show and delivering it with huge dollops of panache. And biggest hats off to David for having the guts and the stamina and the glorious imagination. If you're ever giving any imagination away because you find it too taxing, David, I'll be first in the queue.


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