The Revengers Tragedy at Nottingham Playhouse
Dubbed the ‘Tarantino version of Hamlet’, Fiona Buffini’s The Revenger’s Tragedy brought an explosive end to The Sweet Vengeance season at Nottingham Playhouse.
Thomas Middleton’s classic play is reimagined in the 1970s, complete with the most flamboyant of wardrobes and a classic glam-rock soundtrack.
The tone and pace of the whole play was set from the word go when the lights were suddenly cut and the cast came strutting out on to the stage to the unmistakable sound of T-Rex.
The sleek modern layout of Nottingham Playhouse lends itself well to such a vivid production. The theatre’s minimal decorative fuss meant that when lights were out, we were in total blackout, casting the colours of the actors costumes in sharp contrast.
While the visual elements of the Jacobean play have been given a 20th century makeover, the Shakespearean-esque language has been left untouched. The dramatic delivery and striking sets helped the audience keep track of the fast moving storyline and who was out to get who – which was essentially, everyone.
— Experience Notts (@ExperienceNotts) November 1, 2016
The Revenger’s Tragedy allows you step inside the debauched kingdom of The Duke and his rich and glamorous family. They live above the law, encouraging each other to fall deeper into their corrupt lifestyles. We see outsider Vindice attempt revenge against the family with his sister Candiza, but in the process they too become tainted by the same immoral ways Vindice protests against.
Thankfully, the darker than dark plot is consistently thrown into comic relief. From the glittering disco ball and lavish boudoir sets to the entertaining appeal of characters’ despicable behaviour, the whole play is tinged with a lavish irony and playfulness, albeit wicked.
Declan Perring stole the show with an his camp, vicious performance as Lussurioso – not least because of the surprise Saturday Night Fever dance scene he leads. In the same way that Vindice is sucked into the Duke’s fabulously bad world, the audience too can’t help but love to hate watching their villainous ways unfold.
The Revenger’s Tragedy runs until Saturday 12 November 2016. To find out more and book tickets, visit the Nottingham Playhouse website.