|A Boy Player
On in London
Mr McClellan - himself a seasoned
pro - has put together a highly competent company who gave this
overlooked piece a sensibly direct and to-the-point rendering,
cracking through the odd bits of slack in the text and providing
moments of power and pathos where they're due. This is
an impressive piece of ensemble playing.
With a toga'd and espadrilled cast, Sharers
and Hirelings Theatre Company give us a credible impression
of a lot of people treading very carefully on account of the
whims of a despotic ruler... We have an Italianate and curiously
compelling Caesar in George
Savvides, spoilt, tempramental and relishing torture
as if it were light entertainment. In fact, the striking
thing about this play is the way in which it confuses make
believe with reality in an elaborate use of plays within plays. Savvides'
whimsical Caesar really doesn't seem
to know or care about the diference between murder on or off
If you're looking for action, look no further than this tiny
pub theatre in Chiswick where the Sharers
and Hirelings Company have launched a gutsy revival of Philip
Massinger's bloody malediction of imperial tyranny...
Intimately presented using two painted walls and a couple of
benches, the production passes the fundamental test of creating
its own world on stage.
On Sunday I saw the fringe theatre at its best: Kenneth
McClellan's production of The
Roman Actor by Massinger.
Anyone keen on strong coherent plotting and fluent nervous
blank verse from one of the most highly competent of Jacobean
playwrights should seek out the tiny theatre above the charming
Tabard pub next to Turnham Green underground station, where
they will see something with more than 17th Century relevance. The
excellent performaces of George Savvides, the twitchily unhinged
Emperor Domitian, Nadia Cameron, his avid and beautiful empress
and the delicious, medium-dry camp of Rob Horton, the court
favourite (a sort of unreliable Cecil Parkinson, on girls and
off points), also contribute nicely to the eternal bloodiness