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Review: Measure for Measure
CAPTURING the humour of Shakespeare’s comedies can be a struggle for some directors but TS’ Peter Hynds pulled it off in style.
The team of 11 actors and actresses, who make up TS productions, were experts in drawing out the puns and hidden meaning in Measure for Measure’s dialogue when they arrived at The Victoria in Old Town.
It was an unlikely setting for a Shakespeare play, in the basement of a pub which prides itself on live music, but it worked. The actors started the romantic/philosophical tale at the venue’s bar, to the side of the stage.
With no stage props, background paintings or traditional costumes, everything relied on the acting itself.
The Duke of Vienna, who was played by Jane Dale, sets the debate of the play at the start. The duke is leaving the morally deprived city to launch an experiment to see if Angelo’s hard rule approach can sort out the situation.
But things go horribly wrong when Angelo’s unrealistic ideologies are put into practice. Angelo was played by Dominic Baker, who was donned in a cold grey shirt and smart work trousers, and did an excellent job of a power-hungry adolescence whose first sniff of power has gone to his head.
Sentenced to death for getting his fiancée pregnant, Claudio, who was played by Scott McDonald, sends his sister, Isabella, to beg for his life. Isabella, played by Holly Jade Farmer, did a fantastic portrayal of a chaste, innocent woman who had some hard speeches to remember and some even harder males to tackle.
The ever crucial ending, when at first the audiences think all the wrongs have been put right and then suddenly the heroic duke throws a spanner in the works, was well chosen by Hynds but I don’t want to give too much away so I will leave it there.
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