Thursday, July 23, 2009


War and lechery at Shakespeare's Globe


A late brooding blackbird feeds her young in the eaves. And below, the Trojan war is played out on stage in Matthew Dunster's inventive production at Shakespeare's Globe.
The place is packed, punters attracted perhaps by Matthew Kelly's Pandarua. It is an arresting performance, holding the stage while preening, plotting, pleading and leading a rousing “Love, love, nothing but love!”
His niece Cressida is a watchable, elfin Laura Pyper, with Paul Stocker, perm and pecs, as her Troilus.
Elsewhere in a large, energetic and sometimes confusing cast of characters there was much muscle, and a little Greek love. The other clown was Paul Hunter's misshapen Thersites.
The Globe stage was clad in sunbaked clay colours, with a strange ramo around the front, and at the death of Hector, black banners tumble down from the roof.
At the end, Pandarus' mad recapitulation is drowned out by drums, and rhythmic percussion from the whole company replaces the traditional jig.

Photo of Chinna Wodu as Ajax by John Tramper

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