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Published on Jul 11, 2011
First published anonymously in 1607, The Revenger's Tragedy tells the story of a man whose wife is murdered on their wedding day and his desire to exact revenge on the murderer.
Set in an un-named Italian city, Vindice (Rachel da Silva) returns from a self imposed exile to bring down those responsible for his wife's death. Using all his wit and cunning- and with the help of his courtier brother (Mark Campbell) - he infiltrates the court of the corrupt and rapacious Duke (Tony Donnelly) by befriending his equally villainous son and heir, the lusty Lussurioso (Richard Self). Unfortunately, as Vindice is drawn into this corrosive circle, he finds he is required to test the honour of his young sister Castiza (Sonja Grassmugg) and recently widowed mother (Eleanor McEnery).
The Duke's tottering edifice is simultaneously being eaten away from within by the despicable efforts of his family by his second marriage to the avaricious Duchess (Wendy Marsh). Step-daughtersAmbitiosa and Supervacua (Charlotte and Hannah Jacobs) and bastard Spurio (Richard Banks) alike weave their own intricate plans to achieve their own selfish ends.
Rarely performed, although there have been two high profile productions in London and Manchester in the last decade, it is a fine example of what has been labelled as the Theatre of Blood (of which Hamlet is the best known example) where dark poetry bursts like a comet across the thunderous sky of the stage. ..
And yet, despite its distance in time, the play resounds well with a modern audience who can easily cope with similar intrigues in contemporary life and drama. Indeed, I had at one point considered a "Dallas" setting for the piece and Alex Cox's 2002 film adaptation certainly references the macabre machinations that reverberated around the circumstances of Princess Diana's untimely death.
So, if you feel in the mood for a challenge or relish a walk on the wild side, "The Revenger's Tragedy" could be just what you need to darken your summer mood! The production also features George Coward, Kevin Coward, Anne Hempstead, Rod Henderson, Andy Masters and Jenny McCarthy as Sordida.