This play was not for the faint-hearted (or stomached), as the Green Stage theater company putting it on warned everyone ahead of time. After billing the show as a “Hard Bard” production, they warn of every possible form of mayhem and adult theme including “lots of blood”. . .”a very bad clown, banjos & a hootenanny,” further warning that “the front row (at least) is a splash zone.”
Of course, this is Seattle, before the play started the house manager assured us the “blood” was corn-starch based and that no animals were harmed, further warning people with corn allergies to move out of the front row.
Titus Andronicus is early Shakespeare, and while having no great quotes, follows the familiar path of revenge, revenge and more revenge, and the play isn’t over until there are bodies strewn across the stage. Don’t be fooled by everyone going out into the lobby on break. This isn’t some modern play leaving loose ends hanging. No, they’re gathered up and baked into a pie.
The play was simultaneously funny and disturbing. Spoiler alert. How disturbing?
OK, I’m not usually bothered by clowns, but this one was very creepy. . .and he comes into the audience. . .
OK. I was ready for all the mayhem and corn-starch blood, but they didn’t warn me about. . .clown sex!. . . un-protected clown sex!
Never have un-protected sex with a clown!
Enough said. This is a scared straight production on that issue. . .
Definitely for Quentin Tarantino fans, with the rest of us a little queasy. . . In many ways, typical Shakespeare, though, as there’s terrible mayhem, revenge with more terrible mayhem, which continues until nearly everyone’s dead.
In many ways, it reminds me of modern day human rights. So often the case, one side has done something terrible to the other, who in turn does something terrible to the other’s side, who. . .
An excellent cast, and I’ll have to catch some of them doing Shakespeare in the Park this summer, which is where the Green Stage Theater company usually plays. This one is playing indoors, a block from Cinerama, under the monorail, and across the street from Top Pot doughnuts.
All seats are free, although reserving ahead of time online is always a good idea, and donations are encouraged (and needed to put on the plays).
Further information, warnings and photos at: