Shakespeare’s Bloodiest Play Comes to Adelaide

In collaboration with Holden Street Theatres, brand new theatre company Red Phoenix is set to stage the bloodbath that is Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus – and with no shortage of gore.

Wicked, immoral, nefarious. Violence, power, the macabre. These are the themes that embody Shakespeare’s magnificent and brutal play, Titus Andronicus. Red Phoenix Theatres will fearlessly launch Adelaide’s premiere of the bloody story this August. Jokingly referred to as Shakespeare’s Game of Thrones, the Bard’s Titus Andronicus is a harrowing tragedy filled with bloodlust, human sacrifice and revenge. The story follows the titular Roman general, Titus who cruelly sacrifices the sons of a defeated Gothic queen, Tamora, only to unleash her unforgiving wrath and a vicious cycle of vengeance. Few are spared over the course of the play, as a whirlwind of violence wreaks havoc on anyone foolish enough to stand in either character’s way.

Titus-Andronicus-Adelaide-Review-shakespeare Red Phoenix Theatres’ cast in their first reading of Titus Andronicus

Co-founder and Artistic Director of Holden Street Theatres, Martha Lott says the partnership with Red Phoenix “strongly aligns” with their enduring goal of supporting South Australian artists and emerging companies. Director of the play Michael Eustice also welcomes the partnership for its ability to mingle the two theatres together, and by doing so hopes to provide audiences with plays previously untouched. “This fixed commitment to bringing plays that are previously unperformed in Adelaide is what makes Red Phoenix a valuable new addition to our vibrant theatre landscape”. “What we hope to do is identify our differences from other companies. While some companies shy away from producing plays that haven’t been staged before (because they worry audiences won’t see them) what we actually do is give them a reason to come.” “For us as a new company to have a home base and a well-established venue which supports us and its audiences is wonderful,” says Eustice.

Holden-Street-Titus-Andronicus-Adelaide-Review-shakespeare The show at Holden Street Theatres will mark the first time Titus Andronicus has been performed in Adelaide

Keeping largely faithful to the original play, audiences are promised a full sensory experience. “It’s not a contemporary version. We’re being very true to the script in that there has been some editing, only on the basis that some parts of the language and historical references won’t be meaningful to all audiences. But all of the script is written by Shakespeare”. The play’s context is not immune from its former either, but with the exception of costumes more aligned with those in medieval-style dramas, such as Game of Thrones. “We’re not trying to make it like Game of Thrones. We’re certainly leaning on the story aspect, acknowledging that it really is just popular culture but that Titus Andronicus was also of that nature”. “When you look at the storytelling styles and concept of revenge tragedy, it really does make you question how little popular culture has changed”. Titus Andronicus 18 to 27 August Holden Street Theatres holdenstreettheatres.com redphoenixtheatre.com

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