Middleton’s 17th century drama embodies the bloody tradition of Jacobean revenge tragedy, as secrets, plots and jealous rivalries drive the court to murderous acts.
Leantio has eloped with wealthy Bianca – but the honeymoon is over and, despite Leantio’s best efforts at keeping his bride caged, she has caught the eye of the powerful Duke of Florence. Meanwhile, Isabella’s father is planning to marry her off to a rich young suitor, but her uncle Hippolito has won her trust and her illicit desire. Her aunt Livia decides to help the doomed couple and discovers her own appetite for love is still burning.
Corruption, exploitation and sexual politics pervade the Italian court in this classic revenge tragedy of power and desire.
Thomas Middleton was amongst the most prolific and acclaimed Jacobean playwrights, unusual for finding equal success with his tragedies and comedies. A writer of topical pamphlets to earn a living, his dramatic works include A Mad World My Masters, The Changeling, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, A Game at Chess and The Spanish Gypsy.
Director Philip Franks began his career as an actor, best-known for his television work including The Darling Buds of May. He is also a theatre and radio director with credits including: Private Lives and The Heiress (National Theatre); The White Devil (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith); Taking Sides, Collaboration, Dear Lupin (West End); Nicholas Nickleby (Chichester Festival Theatre) and The Tempest (Liverpool Playhouse). He has recently appeared in a site specific production of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at London County Hall. At RADA he has directed The Tyrant, The Witch of Edmonton, The Castle and last year, The Winter’s Tale.
Fri 23 Mar 2018, 7:30pm