Theatre Thought: ‘Titus Andronicus’ at The Globe
They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity and ever since Lucy Bailey’s production of Titus Andronicus opened at Shakespeare’s Globe it’ s been making theatrical headlines-mostly due to the amount of audience members that have been collapsing at the sheer gore of it.
With reports of audience members dropping like flies at Shakespeare’s bloodiest play, ticket sales have rocketed as folk flock to the wooden O to see if they can stand it themselves. Myself included. Given that I went a bit wobbly last week when I gave myself a particularly nasty papercut, I was a bit NERVY NORA about it. As my pal said to me, “This’ll be like giving yourself a papercut with a whole Beano Annual”.
An evening at The Globe is always a bit special. You can’t help but just fall in love with the theatre itself. It’s far more informal than regular theatre, with audience members often whooping, cheering and shouting at the action. We’d treated ourselves to SEATS this time rather than playing the peasants with the rest of the groundlings, but as soon as the action started I sort of wished we hadn’t. The audience are brought right into the action during the production, as moving platforms transport cast members around the space, in order for them to make speeches to the Roman public. Burly roman soldiers and Goths sporting blue celtic tattoos rampaged through the audience banging drums and whipping people up into a frenzy as onstage the blood spurted and spilled.
A note on the gore: I actually was a bit disappointed. It’s certainly there, but I was expecting it to be FAR WORSE than it actually was. The interval faint count mind you was 4, and that was for Act 1 alone. The brilliant Globe staff are clearly old hands by now, and look after the few dizzy strucken unlucky ones with discretion and speed. There was actually a brilliant moment where a big loada blood got spilled and the ushers started to scan the audience, looking for any that were about to keel over. There weren’t any and they all looked at each other as if to say, “Well played audience. You’ve manned up.”
The cast are all fantastic and really work together to play the black comedy of the play. I mean, sure there’s horrific bits in this play but you just can’t take a scene where about 4 characters die in the space of two minutes THAT seriously. It’s sort of like if Tarantino had been alive in the Elizabethan times, this is what he’d have produced.
It’s really VERY GOOD so I would REALLY RECOMMEND you go see. I mean what says a Friday Night Out like rape, mutillation, revenge, beheadings, illegimate babies and a Mother eating a pie made from her own two sons? SURE. Just make sure you’ve had a decent meal before you go to avoid a collapse. HOORAY THE BARD!
Titus Andronicus runs at Shakespeare’s Globe on selected dates up until July 13th. Also, if you click here you can purchase groundling tickets for a measley £3 on certain dates. THAT’S BETTER THAN A POKE WITH A SHARP STICK ISN’T IT?!