by John Marston.

Wanamaker Playhouse Globe Theatre 21 New Globe Walk Bankside SE1 9DT To 19 April 2014.
Mon–Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat 2.30pm.
Runs: 2hr 20min One interval.

TICKETS: 0207 401 9919.
Review: William Russell 15 April.

Rare sighting of youthful Game of Thrones.
It was an interesting idea to get the Globe Theatre Young Players – they are aged between 12 to 16 – to perform this piece originally performed in 1603, the year it was written, by the Children of the Chapel, a company of teenage boys. The problem, however, is the play which, pace T S Eliot, really is a load of old Jacobean rope.

It tells how Malevole, a usurped Duke in disguise, who has been replaced by his brother Pietro, regains his throne and does for the wicked courtier Mendoza who is planning to get rid of the usurper brother. For once it is not a tragedy with lots of bloodshed, but a farce in which, while murders are planned, none are committed.

John Marston, who was by all accounts very strange – in 1609 he gave up his career as a playwright to become a parish priest – also takes an amazingly misogynistic view of women in general, which lends a mysterious element to the play that academics pour over.

Caitlin McLeod’s direction is skilful and she has conjured up an amazingly beautiful stag hunt to open the second act using little more than some branches, and masks for the stag and the roe deer being pursued.

The youthful cast is fine, although the mix of voices broken and unbroken gets a little monotonous at times and some of the casting seems odd – little boys are little boys, big boys are big ones. The mix of sexes is, of course, as it has to be today, but there are problems.

While most of the female roles are played by girls, when a boy plays one it suddenly becomes a drag role, which is wrong. Yet the piece is rarely performed – Anthony Sher played Malevole, a juicy role for any actor, for the RSC in 2002 – and this staging is very well worth seeing.

Mendoza: Guy Amos.
Billoso: Alexander Clarke.
Emilia: Benjamin Clarke.
Aurelia: Martha Lily Dean.
Prepasso/Captain: Isaac Deayton.
Ferneze: Ed Easton.
Bianca: Brogan Gilbert.
Maquerelle: Sam Hird.
Mercury: Jasmine Jones.
Pietro: Ben Lynn.
Malevole: Joseph Marshall.
Page: Sekela Nancy Ngamilo.
Passarello: Freya Parks.
Celso: Yasmin Prince.
Prologue/Equato: Danish Sajjad.
Maria: Amanda Shodeko.
Ferrado: Curtis Trynka.
Page/Epilogue: Toby Turpin.
Guerrino: Tamla Tutankhamun.

Director: Caitlin McLeod.
Designer: Angela Davies.
Composer: Olly Fox.
Music Director: Robin Jeffrey.
Choreographer: Sian Williams.
Fight director: Kevin McCurdy.

2014-04-16 01:18:58

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