The Rape of Lucrece

The Rape of Lucrece is Shakespeare’s narrative poem detailing the vicious assault on the heroine and its disastrous ramifications. Gerard Logan performs the piece as a one-man adaptation to fantastic effect. The production is clear and concise; without unnecessary flourishes it draws attention to the superb acting. Though the distinctive style is initially jarring it soon takes hold, enveloping you in the horror and passion.Logan’s subtle characterisation is remarkable. Narration and speech are clearly defined and capture the audience’s attention. Personalities are carefully sculpted and developed, giving each one an individual identity. The physicality used to create each persona is subtle but striking. Though one actor is on stage, a multitude of characters emerge. Tarquin’s emotional struggle with lust and morality is beautifully portrayed. Even more impressive is the dialogue between Lucrece and the threatening Tarquin. Logan switches seamlessly from attacker to victim without pausing or loosing the audience. The only small disappointment in this vast array is that on some occasions Lucrece’s persona is not as authentic as others. Though this would not be noticeable in a more mediocre performance the level of near-perfection achieved elsewhere makes these small lapses evident. However, this is by no means a barrier to my fully enjoying this performance.The pace of the performance is perfect and the energy infectious. Suspense is palpable and present throughout. Logan fills every inch of the space with his multitude of characters with blocking that allows the varying levels to be felt.With a simple set devoid of frippery, it provides a blank canvas for Logan to use in inspiring the audience’s imagination. The only prop used throughout is a white cloth, yet it is more than enough in capable hands. Somehow, through Logan’s manipulations, this one cloth becomes both costume and set.This production of The Rape of Lucrece presents an original approach to a centuries-old piece, adding new angles and depth. It is a breath of fresh air for Shakespeare fans looking for quality and originality.

Reviews by Nicole Adam

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The Blurb

Gerard Logan (Olivier Award nominee) stars in the first ever solo adaptation of Shakespeare’s brilliant, brutal narrative poem. ‘Sensational!’ (Sir Trevor Nunn). ‘Beautifully and excellently delivered by a master of his craft.’ ***** (FringeReview.co.uk). www.therapeoflucrece.co.uk

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