Her Infinite Variety Ensemble
Directed by Jenny De Reuck
Designed by Sarah Duyvestan
Featuring Nicola Bartlett, Helen Doig, Tiffany Barton, Angelique Malcolm, Natalie Ryan-Brand, Olivia Hogan, Shirley Van Sanden, Mikala Westall, Emma Jermy, Sarah Courtis, Claire Munday and Rhoda Lopez
Subiaco Arts Centre Studio
Until May 21
The William Shakespeare of the early 1590s was a young man in a big hurry. He’d had some success with a couple of comedies and histories but aimed for a stake in the prestige market for tragedies, which was dominated by Thomas Kyd and the firebrand Christopher Marlowe.
His first foray into tragedy was Titus Andronicus, a messy, ill-formed piece of Ovidian and Senecan bloodbathery that wanted for nothing in energy, for all it lacked in artistic merit. Think of the Saw movie franchise.
So now, 350-odd years later, we’ve got an all-female Titus Andronicus produced by a mono-gender (its description) theatre company aiming to redress the imbalance in male/female opportunities in the acting profession.
That’s a noble enough intention. I just wish it had chosen a more likely vehicle in which to make its debut.
Everyone works hard, and Jenny de Reuck’s direction is eventful and occasionally inventive, but I’m afraid I can’t think of a single example where casting a woman in the role of a man served any purpose. And that makes the exercise, however worthy, essentially pointless.
Link here to the complete review in The West Australian