PREMIERED AUGUST 2019, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
"...sickening and stunning" CASSIE TONGUE - TIME OUT
War hero. Mother. Monster.
21 children left dead on the battleground, Titus returns home to Rome with Queen of the Goths, Tamora, and her three sons as prisoners of war. Titus Andronicus is Shakespeare’s terrifying tale of two families locked in a violent cycle of chaos and bloody vengeance.
By William Shakespeare
Director: Adena Jacobs
Set & Costume Designer: Eugyeene Teh
Lighting & AV Designer: Verity Hampson
Composer & Sound Designer: Max Lyandvert
Dramaturgue: Aaron Orzech
Assistant Director: Claudia Osbourne
Movement Coach: Danielle Micich
Voice & Text Coach: Jess Chambers
Performed by Jane Montgomery Griffiths, Melita Jurisic, Tariro Mavondo, Josh Price, Catherine Văn-Davies, Daniel Schlusser, Jayna Patel, Grace Truman & Tony Ray Ray.
"Amongst all the gruesome atrocities of Titus Andronicus, is something that feels like a transcendent beauty...avant-garde theatre at its most enthralling." SUZY WRONG - SUZY GO SEE
"In Adena Jacobs, Bell Shakespeare has found a director with the courage to mould the play to a new vision, one that explores the monstrous nature of the human body and the fearful power of parents over children." SUSAN LEVER - AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW
"(Jacobs) has repurposed an old dog and taught it new tricks. In her hands, with new imagery louder than any soliloquy, Titus becomes a warning. We have always had a great capacity for violence; we have always killed our children. What if we ripped the seams of our social structures apart and rebuilt them? What if we looked at broken bodies and, rather than calling their deaths a tragedy, accepted our own culpability, and said: enough?" CASSIE TONGUE - TIME OUT
★★★★ TIME OUT
★★★★ ARTS HUB
★★★★ AUDREY JOURNAL
Nominated for 4 Sydney Theatre Awards:
Best Set Design of a Mainstage Production (Eugyeene Teh)
Best Costume Design of a Mainstage Production (Eugyeene Teh)
Best Sound Design of a Mainstage Production (Max Lyandvert) - WINNER
Best Lighting Design of a Mainstage Production (Verity Hampson)
A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR
We are sorry for all these stories where you get chopped into pieces, and made into pies, frozen
in towers and eaten by wolves, chased through dark forests, and married to beasts. Burnt and
baked, slaughtered and raped. Stories like the one you are about to see, where parents swallow
and kill and then hand you the knife. Where a girl gets torn into pieces, a hole for a mouth, her
face no longer a face. Stories which turn rape into metaphor, violence into poetry. Which tell
you that the world was always this way and will continue to be. That our violence becomes
your violence. Our pain becomes your pain. Our nightmares; your nightmares.
What if these stories were dreamt up by mothers? What would their warnings be for us?
Their fantasies and terrors, their visions, their futures? The belief that we are doomed to
repeat cycles of violence, is a patriarchal one. For centuries, this myth has provided us with
an excuse for even more trauma and bloodshed. It allows us to say — we cannot help it. It is in our
DNA and our history, preordained from birth.
This production queers and re-dreams Shakespeare’s play, as an attempt to x-ray our
relationship with violence, written on the body and transferred through history. Bodies and
voices, usually at the margins of the play are at the centre of our exploration. Through this lens
we enter the brutal and shell-shocked landscape of Titus Andronicus, trying to comprehend and
re-construct the pieces of a world torn apart.