What’s it all about?
Measure For Measure is one of Shakespeare’s trickiest tales, but Joe Hill-Gibbins’ has breathed fresh, raucous and downright bonkers life into the tale of a city lost to debauchery.
Blow-up dolls, sex tapes, bongs and a vocal cameo from the best break-up album of the 90s: Toto, I don’t think we’re in the 17th century anymore…
Who’s in it?
All number of morally dubious characters and party fiends.
A startling Zubin Varla oversees proceedings as the Duke Vincentio, who takes on a disguise in order to quietly watch his city melt into a hotpot of hedonism leaving Paul Ready’s Angelo in charge. Matched with the show’s vivid religious imagery and music, Hill-Gibbins’ intense vision sees the pair take on all the sinister, controlling arrogance of cult leaders. It’s little wonder then that Romola Garai, as devoted nun-in-training Isabella, becomes the picture of innocence, her soft prayers and plain attire cutting through everyone’s moral bankruptcy like an icy cold breeze: she’s a Vermeer muse in a Pop Art world.
But it is Tom Edden as the brash, lewd Pompey who proves the scene stealer; drawing every inch of wit from the comedy gold Shakespeare bestows on Measure For Measure’s most legendary rogue and transforming the character into a tacky, crotch grabbing, overindulging clown.
What should I look out for?
A couple of hundred blow up dolls having an orgy, Hill-Gibbins’ now trademark use of live filming – you’re likely never to have seen a plastic penis that close up – and an ingenious depiction of the city’s prison.
In a nutshell?
Acid bright, loud, wild and untamed, Hill-Gibbins’ modern day Measure For Measure is a welcome assault on the senses.
What’s being said on Twitter?
— Anya Rose (@Anya_Rose97) October 9, 2015
— Franciska_E (@Franciska_E) October 9, 2015
Will I like it?
Hill-Gibbins’ production is a welcome assault on the senses as this tale of trickery, morality and desire plays out like never before. If you like your Shakespeare with ruffs and a curtain call jig, this may not be your cup of tea. More in the mood for vodka than tea? Down a shot or two and take a seat.