Titus Andronicus is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, written at a time when he was learning his trade as a playwright – in the early 1690s. It seems to have been quite popular for a time, but, mainly due to its crudely sensational action, it’s not performed as often as many of Shakespeare’s better-loved plays. A production by Peter Brook in 1955 with Laurence Olivier as Titus did show up some good qualities; perhaps, also, the carnage of happenings of such as the atrocity of George W’s Gulf War and the napalm of the Vietnam War with its massacre of civilians at MyLai, make the play’s violence seem less grotesque.
Set in ancient Rome at the time of the wars between the Romans and the Goths, it’s a play written in the revenge tragedy genre, where a great wrong has to be righted. Revenge plays were written to a strict formula. In the righting of the wrong, “the plays chartedthe characters’ Machiavellian and macabre progress towards revenge”.
To see a Shakespeare play Live from Stratford is an opportunity not to be missed by drama lovers. “Titus Andronicus” is being screened on Wed, August 9th at 7pm.
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— The RSC Key (@TheRSCKey) July 31, 2017