Let’s Compare

June 21, 2013 § Leave a comment


As a preview of our upcoming run of Eclectic Theatre Company’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (running June 28 – August 10), we thought we would let you know just what you’re in for by comparing Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus to its representation in Complete Shakespeare (as we call it for short).

In Shakespeare’s play, Roman general Titus is in a brutal, bloody war of revenge with empress Tamora. When Titus kills Tamora’s eldest son, she repays him by beheading two of his sons, cutting off his daughter’s hands and tongue, and banishing Titus’ other son. In return, Titus kills Tamora’s sons, bakes them into a pie, and serves the pie to Tamora. There is, of course, more killing after this, but it’s this moment of concocting and serving Chiron and Demetrius pie that Complete Shakespeare really has fun with…

TITUS ANDRONICUS enters wearing an apron and carrying a large butcher’s knife. He is somewhat reminiscent of Julia Child.

TITUS:  Good evening, everyone! Good evening, gore-mets, and welcome to ‘Roman Meals.’ I’m your host, Titus Androgynous. Now, when you’ve had a long day – your left hand chopped off, your sons murdered, your daughter raped, her tongue cut out, and both her hands chopped off – well, the last thing you want to do is cook. Unless, of course, you cook the rapist and serve him to his mother at a dinner party! My daughter Lavinia and I will show you how.

But never fear; the show does incorporate lines from the original Shakespeare. Lavinia enters, letting Titus know, with rather garbled words, that she’s not so well as her tongue’s been chopped out. To which Titus responds…

TITUS: I know. It’s a pisser, isn’t it? But we’ll get our revenge, won’t we?
“Now hark, villain. I will grind your bones to dust,
And of your blood and it I’ll make a paste;
And of the paste a coffin I will rear
And make a pasty of your shameful head.
Come, Lavinia, receive the blood.”
First of all, we want to make a nice clean incision from carotid artery to jugular vein (slicing RAPIST’s throat), like so.

The text certainly paints a picture, but just wait until you see it on our stage! The show is in excellent hands with favorite Metropolis actors Adam Kander, Andrew Pond and Michael Woods who will have you laughing your way through all 37 works of William Shakespeare.


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