Titus Andronicus is Shakespeares earliest tragedy and one of his most bloodthirsty plays. It was banned in Victorian Britain for being too violent, featuring rape, mutilation, cannibalism and many deaths. Even today, it is probably performed less frequently than most of his major plays, so this production is very welcome.
The play is largely about revenge, taken bloodily and mercilessly. Following the death of the Emperor in Rome, his elder son Saturninus is eventually chosen to be his successor. He marries the Goth queen Tamora, widow of King Priam, who has cursed Titus because his sons sacrificed her eldest son. She conspires with her surviving sons and her lover, a Moor named Aaron, to have the Emperors brother murdered and to get Titus sons executed for it and for Titus daughter to be raped and mutilated. The scene is then set for Titus to take his revenge upon her, her family and the Emperor.
This is a thoroughly gripping production, with excellent performances from the whole cast. The action is very free-flowing and is not at all stage bound actors emerge from the back of the theatre and move up and down the aisles. The bloody scenes are quite graphic and possibly not suitable for someone of a nervous disposition.
This is physical theatre at its best and is very much worth seeing.