British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database
Rose Rage (2001): Propeller
PrRose Rage (2001)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Tony Bell (Earl of Warwick); Richard Clothier (Richard, Duke of Gloucester); Robert Hands (Queen Margaret); Vincent Leigh (George, Duke of Clarence); Jonathan McGuinness (Henry VI); Tim Treloar (Edward, later Edward IV); Guy Williams (Duke of York).
This production was a conflation of Henry VI Parts One, Two and Three into two parts and titled Rose Rage. The first performances of this production took place on 3 February 2001 at the Watermill Theater, later transferring to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket in London.
"We are in the abbatoir. The hooks and trusses await the caracasses, rubber gloves are at the ready. The cast are fully gowned and masked. There is the sound of knives being sharpened. Be in no doubt - the slaughter is about to begin....Initially Rose Rage seems a trite title for Edward Hall's reduced, all-male version of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy...But when the nobility begin their pointless squabbles and corpses pile up as ordinary people get caught up in the madness, the title is desperately apt. This is like watching an entire country turn insane, the red and white roses of Lancaster and York coming violently together like red blood on the alabaster white skin of a corpse....The violence is both precise and distanced, scary and macabre. There is a high body count, but Hall applies a grisly comic touch. Every murder is played out in graphic detail but the bodies receive no blows or cuts. Instead animal entrails are sliced and gored, giant cabbages axed and cleaved. Soon a faint, sickening smell of offal pervades the theatre....With its use of traditional catches and airs, sense of time passing from early Edwardian England to the 1930s and seething volcanic violence, this production speaks honestly, vividly and with commendable simplicity and modernity to its audience about a time when England's green and pleasant land was polluted by blood." ~ Lyn Gardner, "Blood flows at Newbury's Watermill", The Guardian, 10 February 2001
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