Shocking Shakespeare

In what i'm reading on April 30, 2014 at 4:26 pm

We’ve been treated to lots of Shakespeare of late, celebrating his 450th birthday last week. I marked the occasion with a trip to The Globe.

Titus Andronicus is surely Shakespeare’s most gruesome play. There’s blood, gore, the removal of tongues and hands and almost everyone dies. Some of the characters get cooked up in pies.

The Globe’s current production does justice to all of these, but also manages to tell a ripping good yarn. I didn’t think the blood and stumps – which were rather convincing – got in the way of the storytelling. There’s obviously comedy in the tragedy, but this is a production which seems to understand where to draw the line.

Or so I thought. But it seems 5 audience members last night perhaps took suspending disbelief a step far and passed out, right there in the theatre. I just thought the staff were carrying more dead characters off stage, through the standing crowd not paying punters who had fainted. The Globe say it’s not unheard of, especially in the summer months when people have to stand for a few hours in the heat. Or when there’s loads of fake blood.

The Telegraph ran a story about last night’s droppers today.

They picked up on a tweet I posted last night during the interval and included it in their piece, which was jolly nice of them.

And the Daily Mail too.

Titus Andronicus plays at The Globe until 13 July.


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