Okay, just to get things straight, the “reviews” on this site about plays I’ve seen aren’t really reviews, because that’s what Google is for. I totally don’t mean that in a dick way, though. I just didn’t want you to read this post and think, “well, that was a crappy review.”
My definition of review for THIS site is the way I see a story on stage and what I learned from it and how I can use my findings to steal borrow for my own work.
So… Titus Andronicus. Saw this play at La Val’s Subterranean in Berkeley.
Revenge. I think that’s the best word I can think of in rethinking about the play. One of the selling points of the show (I found) was that there was a lot of blood. It was funny because my co-worker mentioned that he saw a production of Shakespeare’s play at the Globe and he said Titus. I then told him about The Lieutenant of Inishmore that was produced at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Now that was a play that had BLOOD! 12 gallons of Blood I heard. So in the back of my mind, I kept taking notes about the use of blood in the play. It was gory… but honestly, that wasn’t what twirled my tail – the acts of REVENGE did.
For the record, I’m not a big scholar of Elizabethan English, but I made up my mind that I was going to concentrate on the actions of the actors and by focusing on that, I could figure out the story from there. Oh, I also was thinking of words I could use to describe this play to others – It’s a play where there’s murder of this lady’s son, which then spins the thread of revenge for said murder. A set up is planned to murder this other guy by blaming it on the sons of the general (titus andronicus) and then there’s a rape the murdered guy’s wife by the lady’s two sons. Then to make sure she doesn’t tell, they cut out her tongue AND hands. wtf? then the guys sons are beheaded and put into a sack dripping with blood. gracious.
I’m just going to skip to the end and say that the ending is reminiscent of Hamlet – still my favorite. But even with all this violence, I was riveted by the plans of revenge. That thread kept pulling me to the end. I read a review saying that this production was cut by an hour – which I’m good with – but then again, I felt like I was missing some things because the actions and motivations to do evil just came SO FAST! I was a little put-off by the racist remarks made, even an image of an African-American with a noose, albeit very loose one, around his neck worn like a necktie. But I did love his character.
REVENGE! Haven’t thought of using that in a while. Can’t wait to try it.