"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Monday, October 05, 2015
THE LADY'S TRIAL
Edward's Boys at
final dramatic work was performed in 1638 at the Cockpit Theatre.
years, scholars have struggled to imagine what that performance might
have been like. Their imaginations will be hugely helped by this
revival, by the boys of Shakespeare's old school in Stratford, in the
candle-lit space of the Sam Wanamaker, a theatre very similar to the
Mills gets remarkably mature
performances from his young actors. Finlay
Hatch is a confident Auria, the Genoese nobleman whose
departure to fight the Turkish foe sets the complex plots in motion.
His friend, the faithful Aurelio, is James Williams. Little Adurni
[Pascal Vogiaridis], tempted to seduce Auria's abandoned Spinella, is
perhaps the most clearly spoken; Dominic Howden makes a pleasingly
fey Futelli, while Dan Power and George Ellingham wring every ounce
out of the comedy Spaniard and Dutchman, suitors
to the lisping Amoretta [Ben Clarke].
the “girls” who have the toughest job, of course. And provide the
most fascinating insight into how Elizabethan, Jacobean – and here
Caroline – playwrights may have seen their female characters come
to life. An
amazingly talented cohort here: Joe Pocknell's poised Spinella,
Charlie Waters as her kid sister Castanna, and an incredibly
accomplished Levidolce from Jack Hawkins.
production, though necessarily simple and uncluttered, does
have some inspired moments – the picture-frame prison, the glee,
and the heart-stopping fermata
the weddings and the epilogue.
and prologue both mix 21st
century and period costume [not to mention school uniform], and the
present day, in the shape of students seated on the stage, is
intriguingly woven into the action.
rare chance to see this Ford – rarer still to see it in something
approaching the form it would have taken when acted by “both
their Majesties' servants at the private house in Drury Lane”