by Jeff Grygny
You don’t see Titus Andronicus much, but it was young Will Shakespeare’s breakout hit; Elizabethan audiences went crazy for the maimed Lavinia writing her rapist’s names with a stick held between her mutilated stumps, and Aaron the Moor pleading for the life of his illegitimate half-breed infant son. With it’s winning blend of politics, intrigue, sex, murder, rape, multiple dismemberments, madness, and human meat pie, the play tops every scene with one more outrageous than the last. It was the Game of Thrones of it’s time.
You can see for yourself what all the fuss was about in this fast-moving, respectful interpretation by Voices Found Repertory, directed by Hannah Kubiak, who resists the pull of melodrama and Shakespearean shoutiness (though some of the men do vent their understandable wrath with animalistic roars). In the title role of the veteran general who makes one spectacularly bad decision after another, Maya Danks brings a cool stoicism that morphs into crazy eyes late in the show. Brittany Faye Byrnes brings a smouldering outsider’s energy to the role of Aaron.
With a petty, corrupt leader, bitter internal strife, partisan treachery, and the Goth hordes massing at the gates, the fall of Rome can’t be far away. Certainly there could be no possible parallel with the current state of our nation!
Voices Found Repertory presents
by William Shakespeare
playing through October 7www.voicesfoundrep.com