BWW Reviews: Orlando Shakespeare's TITUS ANDRONICUS is a Bloody Good Time

BWW-Reviews-Orlando-Shakespeares-TITUS-ANDRONICUS-is-A-Bloody-Good-Time-20010101

At first impression the show seems gratuitously violent, but apparently revenge killings were a way of life during Shakespeare's time. Despite the blood and gore, TITUS ANDRONICUS became Shakespeare's most popular play. It is not recommended for the squeamish as buckets of stage blood is thrown about the stage along with chopped off body parts.

The heavy rock music sets the atmosphere for this revenge tale. The costumes are edgy and military chic. The story could be the inspiration for the Game of Thrones series. TITUS ANDRONICUS is a story of a nasty manipulative woman (Tamora) and the bad things that happen to rival families when they get pissed off. Titus returns from war and kills Tamora's oldest son as a sacrifice, which leads to a chain of revenge killings and several severed body parts. It was sprayed on the paper walls (sometimes buckets and baggies of blood), which tear-away whenever a clean scene is needed.

Jonathan Epstein plays the role of Titus Andronicus proudly and fatherly. He is smart, yet also vengeful. The cunning and glamorous is Tamora skillfully played by Jean Tafler. Tamora is not one to forgive and will do anything for her family. Shakespeare seems to characterize his women as problems, who are either lascivious or complete victims.

Aside from various Andronicus brothers, TITUS ANDRONICUS's victim is sweet Lavinia, whose beauty for inspires jealousy in Tamora's sons. She is left incredibly bloody with no tongue and no hands. No family member young or old is safe from the wrath of angry families. Move over SWEENEY TODD, Shakespeare totally pioneered eating people in pie as an ultimate final revenge.

Non-theater-going husbands and boyfriends will find TITUS ANDRONICUS easy to follow. The well-choreographed fight scenes flow with a good intensity. As tragic as this story is, there are quite a few Shakespearean funny moments masterfully performed.

Directed by Jim Helsinger, TITUS ANDRONICUS stars Jonathan Epstein as Titus Andronicus, Paul Bernardo as Marcus Andronicus, Kelly Kilgore as Lavinia, Greg Jackson as Saturninus, and Jean Tafler as Tamora, Matthew Natale Rush as Demetrius, Greg Joubert as Chiron, Esau Pritchett as Aaron. Also features Geoffrey Kent, Casey Nobel, Danielle Gosselin, Alex Koller, and Justin Baldwin. TITUS ANDRONICUS runs until April 28th. Visit www.orlandoshakes.org for more information.

Photo Credit: Tony Firriolo

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From This Author Kimberly Moy

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