Titus Andronicus: An all female cast at the Edinburgh Fringe


titus andronicusTitus and Andronicus by an all-female cast looked intriguing. All that assassination, murder, ravishing of virgins, maternal betrayal, slicing off of hands and the tearing out of tongues, feasting a father on the flesh of his children, lots of revenge and corruption – all performed by a female cast. Could be fun.
But this was awful. Firstly they killed, cut, sliced and stabbed each other not with daggers or swords, perhaps they are too phallic, but with paint brushes. I am sure there is some deep symbolism about this which has escaped me, but it was very odd, perhaps it was decorative, possibly reinforced in a later scene when ferocious spear carriers appeared armed with long handled paint rollers.
The lighting was terrible. i checked twice that my glasses were clean. At time it was as if we were viewing the production through a slight mist, not at all helped by the set, comprising as it does of great white translucent plastic boards.
I am afraid the acting was very sixth formish. Women’s voices, or at least these women’s voices, do not have the range and scale required for such terrible drama and there was a drone like similarity in the sound of these daughters of the middle classes.
In the end I didn’t see the point of an all-female production It lacked the visceral power of the performance last year by Hirath Artistic Productions and in truth it’s a bit of an indulgence. They are welcome to it.

At the Pleasance Dome

August 2015

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