Joseph Marcell and I have been talking about a collaborating on TITUS ANDRONICUS for several years now. He had done the play at the Royal Shakespeare Company many years ago (with Patrick Stewart playing Titus) and the role had fascinated him ever since. I had done a production of Titus myself (in Portland) that had been a lot of fun, so the idea of re-visiting the play was exciting to me. So when, last summer, the play was suggested I jumped at the chance, and quickly called over seas to get Joseph on board!
Titus is a riveting piece of theatre. Its one of the earliest plays (some believe it’s the first play) in Shakespeare’s canon, so the language is rough, the poetry and metaphor is dense, and there’s a lot of action. Although Titus is ostensibly a “revenge tragedy” in the classic roman vein, Shakespeare seems more interested in showing the punishment of those who seek revenge. The more hungry you are to extract revenge the more violent your end will be; there are severed hands, severed heads, severed tongues. This is definitely Shakespeare’s bloodiest play and to bring this all to life in idyllic Drake Park will make it all the more fun (and more challenging!)
It will be wonderful to bring a world-class talent like Joseph Marcell to Bend. In addition to his career with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Joseph has spent the last ten years of his life working with Shakespeare’s Globe in London and touring throughout the world. Of course most American audiences will recognize him as Geoffrey the butler from THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR.
So, come see a true Shakespearean master, in a rough-and-tumble early Shakespearean tragedy, I guarantee a great night in the park!