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'Tis Pity She's a Whore

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Armani is proving very fashionable in this part of London. With Kevin Spacey donning expensive threads at the Old Vic, the Southwark Playhouse follows suit – if you’ll excuse the pun – and decks out its cast in the smoothest of formal wear for this modern dress interpretation of Ford’s 17th century tale of incest and religious hypocrisy.

And it works wonderfully. This fantastic and inventive production moves the action to a modern, yet still fiercely Catholic, Italy and does away with an entire comic subplot, removing an hour and one of its most distinguishing Jacobean features.

This also helps to give what can seem an unfocused play a direction of sorts and makes for an intensified tragedy of the darkest hue, further underlined by the shadowy and bare set.

The director’s decision to hack chunks out of this rough diamond of a play goes a long way to giving it polish. His direction also locates the play’s centre not in Giovanni and Annabella – the doomed incestuous lovers – but in the atmosphere of social and religious hypocrisy that surrounds them and the malevolent Vasques.

A Machiavellian figure pulling strings in the background, helping the tragedy reach its inevitable climax, he is magnificently played by Dominic Colenso who sneaks, plots and cajoles with bubblingly evil charisma.

The romantic leads Cox and Gale are both worthy of note, creating a resonant tragedy through some powerful and yet subtle acting, while the piece’s finale with a smattering of deaths, gallons of blood and a handful of human heart is worthy of any modern day gangster story.

Production Information

Southwark Playhouse, London, September 28-October 22

Author
John Ford
Director
Edward Dick
Producer
Nevertheless
Cast includes
Charlie Cox, Mariah Gale, Dominic Colenso, Laurence Fox
Running time
2hrs 15mins
Production Details
Production name'Tis Pity She's a Whore
VenueSouthwark Playhouse
LocationLondon
Running time2hrs 15mins
AuthorJohn Ford
CastLaurence Fox, Charlie Cox, Dominic Colenso, Mariah Gale
ProducerNevertheless
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Alistair Smith

Alistair Smith

Alistair Smith

Alistair Smith

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