What price Titus?
in Titus Andronicus
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William Shakespeare was a theatrical professional, but he crafted his playscripts not for us but for actors, playgoers, and theatres that he knew intimately but no longer exist. Few theatrical professionals are willing to emulate Deborah Warner and her cast so as to 'trust' the script and their audiences. The tragedy is 'playable' today and can provide a powerful experience for a playgoer as vividly demonstrated by Peter Brook and Laurence Olivier in 1955 and again by Warner and Brian Cox in 1987-88. To focus upon directors' solutions to the problems posed by the final scene is to call attention to the differing strategies that have been used to deal with this troubling and formidable tragedy. The price tag for Titus Andronicus involves some form of 'translation' wherein some significant features of the original script are metamorphosed into images and effects deemed suitable or safe for today's audiences.


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