Preview: The White Devil, Pavilion Theatre, Brighton
The lovers have a devil of a time
Tuesday 27 December 2005
Two years ago Oyelowo set up Inservice Productions with his wife, Jessica, and three actor friends in Brighton. After a successful youth-theatre production and a short film, Graham and Alice, which will screen on BBC4 next year, they are preparing for their first professional play.
Oyelowo has chosen The White Devil for the big launch. An RSC veteran, he feels at home with the classics. "Brighton is so infested with very cutting-edge, Royal-Court-type drama happening in basements all over the place. We wanted to introduce a bit of classical theatre."
He has updated Webster's Jacobean tragedy for the 21st-century, taking inspiration from its military, aristocratic world. "It looks at a very regimented, formalised world which supposedly is full of honour but has an underbelly of lust, ambition and all things ugly."
Flaminio and Marcello have become Flaminia and Marcella, in response to his actress friends' complaints that "all the best parts in classical theatre go to men". Instead of two brothers and a sister, there are now three sisters, which opens up an entire echo-chamber of theatrical resonances, as well as gender issues. "When I see a woman in military uniform, I think, 'What happened? Did your dad want boys?'" says Oyelowo.
Webster's flowery, proverbial language has also been checked in a bid for narrative clarity and modern appeal. "Webster may well be spinning furiously in his grave at what we're doing with the play, but thankfully he's no longer around to beat me with a stick."
12 January to 4 February (01273 709709)
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 4 Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
- 5 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
Cassetteboy joins forces with Russell Brand for Emperor's New Clothes film
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity, TV review: The affable Englishman routine is wearing a bit thin
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans