Just got back from seeing Equivocation, at Circa. It’s on for two more weeks until Sat 21 June.
The play is about telling the truth in difficult times, with a fictitious setting of Shakespeare having been commissioned to write a play based on Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot. Does Shakespeare tell the truth about the plot, or the version the Government in the form of Sir Robert Cecil wants?
The cast has five men who play multiple roles each, and one woman – Tai Berdinner-Blades who plays Shakespeare’s daughter Judith.
Andrew Foster plays Shakespeare – still grieving his dead son (Judith’s twin) and having to choose between choosing to lie or choosing to live.
Paul McLaughlin play Shakespeare friend and troupe actor Richard. he also plays Jesuit Henry Garnet.
Tom Eason plays young actor Sharpe, and King James I.
Jason Whyte plays an older actor Nate, but also the sinister Sir Robert Cecil.
And finally Gavin Rutherford is at his comic best playing Armin and many other roles.
It’s a long play, almost three hours long (including an interval). The first Act was a bit slow, but the second Act was fast paced and often funny.
The play breaks pretty much the first, second, third and fourth walls. You’re never quite sure if you’re seeing the play, seeing them play a rehearsal, seeing them play a play – or just seeing them talk to the audience. There’s lots of audience interaction – especially for those in the aisles.
The acting was first class, with all six cast playing their roles very well. The costume changes were non-stop, and the overall plot very cleverly done with many allusions to other plays – especially the Scottish one. It was a fun thought provoking night.