Not for the squeamish: Bard’s blood-spattered Titus Andronicus comes to Letchworth and Stevenage

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus - Credit: Archant

You may need to look away now at certain points when one of the Bard’s bloodiest plays is splattered across local cinema screens.

Titus Andronicus is not for the squeamish, and the drama is even more red in tooth and claw when it’s beamed as live from London’s Globe Theatre.

Director Lucy Bailey has a track record for really pushing it to the limit with this play, and when she first took charge of a production in 2006 it’s said that 43 audience members fainted at a single performance.

She believes that show “opened the gates for a different way to approach the space. We had to create an atmosphere where the play needs darkness and blood and a claustrophobic sense of this temple of death when you enter.”

Veteran Shakespearean actor William Houston, who played the title role in the production’s 2014 revival that has now been filmed, says: “We even had vomiters – one guy in the balcony was voluminous!


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“But when you hear skulls hitting the concrete, you have to push through it. Sometimes it was very, very surprising when someone went down right at the front of the yard.”

No wonder that many critics compared the production to the films of Quentin Tarantino.

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That’s what you’ll be letting yourself in for if you catch the film at Letchworth’s Broadway Cinema next Tuesday, March 31 – and if you fancy a double dose, it will also be at Cineworld in Stevenage on Thursday, April 9.

Click here for the Broadway cinema details, and here for the Cineworld screening.

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