‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore

John Ford’s seventeenth century play is still controversial even today, with its central element being incestuous love between brother and sister. It is also very violent, with death and mutilation portrayed graphically and shockingly.

The play opens with Giovanni talking to his friend, the Friar, about his unfulfilled love for his sister Annabella. The Friar tells him how wrong this is in the eyes of God and that he must pray to God to help him overcome his weakness. However, Giovanni cannot do this and instead tells his sister of his feelings. He is overjoyed to discover that she feels the same way about him and they leave to consummate their relationship.

Some time later, Annabella’s mother is trying to find her a husband, which she does not want, but she becomes ill and realises she is pregnant. Giovanni tells the Friar and he advises that Annabella should marry the nobleman Soranzo, which she does. When Soranzo discovers she is already pregnant, violence and tragedy begin to overwhelm everyone.

This is a very interesting and absorbing play, well performed by an excellent young cast. Highly recommended.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

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The Blurb

Bedlam Theatre, 6-11 August. 14:00 (1hr30)

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