Equivocation

June 8th, 2014 at 8:19 pm by David Farrar

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.

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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.

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One Response to “Equivocation”

  1. ChardonnayGuy (1,136 comments) says:

    Not sure how feasible this scenario is. I’m a heavy consumer of Elizabethiana and the historical consensus is that the Walsingham/Cecil security apparatus was so intensive that it’d make former Bush Vice President Cheney drool with enthusiasm. Therefore, the Gunpowder Plot script scenario would be a non-starter in the first place, although there’s some intriguing speculation that Shakespeare might have been crypto-Catholic. Which might explain the Bard’s moral ambiguity. It’s like speculating what would have happened if Christopher Marlowe hadn’t been killed outside that Deptford pub in 1593- an interesting thought-experiment, but little otherwise. As conjecture, it sounds fascinating, though.

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