Friday, 23 May 2014

'Titus Andronicus' Shakespeare's Globe ****

The show there has been making people faint due to its large amounts of scenes involving blood, 'Titus Andronicus' was an impressive production indeed. The play written by William Shakespeare around 1590-93 explains the rivalry between brothers who are competing to rule Rome because their father, the emperor recently passed away and they need someone to take charge. However, Titus Andronicus Rome's most respected general has been offered the responsibility to rule, but decides to decline the offer and indicates that he'd rather have Saturninus, the late emperor's first born to take over. To than him he asks Titus's daughter, Lavinia to marry him. This is vastly awkward as she's in fact Bassianus' fiancĂ©e. This instils the bitter rivalry to be more prominent. I found the narrative to be incredibly compelling as you want to find out what could happen with this horrible sibling rivalry and fierce battle may occur, definitely a regular theme within the Bard William Shakespeare's work. Shakespeare's play takes you on a journey of discovery and thought making process especially in ‘Titus Andronicus’ and how you must appreciate your siblings, even through harsh times. I have great admiration to my younger brother and I know he feels the same. The environment at Shakespeare’s Globe was quite hot due to the fact that the roof has been covered with black masking. The scenes involving the immense amount of blood were extremely shocking but were powerful nevertheless. The company of a ‘Titus Andronicus’ were incredibly well delivered and exactly what you'd expect from the work of William Shakespeare. Matthew Needham was exceptional as the eldest brother Saturninus. Steffan Donnelly was wonderful as Bassianus. I found the scenes with them together, which was lovely to watch and engaged me throughout. William Houston is outstanding as the popular general, Titus Andronicus. His vocal delivery was incredibly powerful and makes you question why he wants to cause friction between the two brothers. Flora Spencer-Longhurst is sublime as Lavinia. The direction by Lucy Bailey was extraordinary beyond belief as staging Shakespeare's work in a traditional format is somewhat risky but it definitely engrosses the audience as expected of a production. William Dudley's design is wonderful as he has been able to construct the atmosphere of Rome to  a superb standard of finish. It's an impressive set design I must advocate. Overall I found Titus Andronicus to be a pleasing production and a production that you should go and see, even if you may have to stand in the pit. 

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