Globe issues health warning after four collapse at 'Titus'
Saturday 03 June 2006
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre has issued a warning about its gory new production of Titus Andronicus after four members of the audience fainted in one night.
The Bard's bloodiest play features scenes of mutilation, rape and murder. Its most famous moment comes when Tamora the Queen of the Goths is served a pie filled with the cooked flesh of her own sons.
But it was the horrific scenes in which Titus's daughter Lavinia, played by Laura Rees, has her hands cut off and tongue cut out that proved too gruesome for "groundlings", the audience members who stand in the Yard, the area closest to the stage.
One observer told the Evening Standard: "All four fainters were standing in the Yard and went down in the space of about two minutes. It happened after Lavinia comes back on stage and blood comes out of her mouth when she tries to speak. One girl hit her chin on the stage. They were dropping like flies."
A spokesman for the Globe said: "At the height of summer we often have people fainting during performances if they have been exposed to the afternoon sun, or have been standing as a 'groundling' for a long period of time.
"However, we have had a higher level of fainters this year than we normally would experience towards the earlier part of the season, before the height of summer. Titus Andronicus is one of Shakespeare's more gruesome plays, and audiences should be aware of its graphic nature prior to seeing the play."
The three-hour production, at the open-air theatre next to the Tate Modern on London's South Bank, is directed by Lucy Bailey and stars Douglas Hodge.
It is made all the more claustrophobic by the stage set. The designer, William Dudley, has draped the theatre in a canopy of dark cloth which blocks out the sunlight.
Arts & Ents blogs
The Independent Bath Literature Festival: 'Top Gear' makes Saudis look liberal, Kirsty Wark tells book festival
Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
Mad about the girl: The cult of Veronica Mars
Stewart Lee: Beware - this man may be only joking
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
- 5 Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry