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‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore

Published October 29, 2014

What’s it all about?

Love, incest, death and heartbreak. That pretty much sums it up. For those wanting a little more detail, it charts the story of Giovanni and Annabella, two siblings who are overcome by an all-consuming love for each other. A recipe for disaster? You guessed it. When Annabella falls pregnant and is forced to protect her honour by marrying nobleman Soranzo, Giovanni is unable to bear seeing his true love in the arms of another man. Cue blood and gore.

Who’s in it?

Max Bennett and Fiona Button ooze chemistry as the besotted lovers at the heart of John Ford’s tragedy. Their relationship is fresh and believable, even more so in the tangible intimacy of the Globe’s candle-lit playhouse.

While Bennett and Button shine in the lead roles, it is from the play’s subplot that the star of the show emerges, with James Garnon giving an unforgettably comic performance as Bergetto. Had Boris Johnson existed in the 17th century and found himself in a similar predicament to Donado’s tactless nephew he would have behaved like this, bumbling and blundering his way through life, expecting women to drop at his feet when he claims to love them almost as much as parmesan. Dean Nolan as his equally amusing sidekick Poggio is also an asset to the production.

What should I look out for?

Alex Lowde’s stunning costumes that just about pass as Jacobean but with a contemporary twist and one incredible moment when every candle in the theatre is extinguished, plummeting the audience into darkness.

In a nutshell?

Will there ever be a production better suited to the candle-lit surroundings of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse than Michael Longhurst’s ingenious take on John Ford’s Jacobean tragedy?

What’s being said on Twitter?

@jeff_lyn Tis Pity She’s a Whore absolutely brilliant @The_Globe stunning setting,production and acting bringing such life to Ford’s text ,don’t miss

@sav606rebels Tis Pity She’s a Whore @The_Globe was incredible Friday. Dark, intimate play in a dark, intimate space. Carnally Powerful. #SWPTisPity

Will I like it?

If Lucy Bailey’s production of Titus Andronicus has taught us anything it’s that the Globe does gore well. ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore is no exception. While most of last night’s audience appeared to remain conscious for the duration of the bloody feasting scene, the sight of gouged out eyes, hearts impaled on daggers and multiple stab wounds is certainly not recommended for the faint-hearted. Thankfully there is plenty to counteract the gruesome finale in the form of comic episodes, incredible performances and a stunning atmosphere that suits the play perfectly.

‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore is playing at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until 7 December. ‘Tis Pity it isn’t longer. You can book tickets through the Globe’s website.