Titus Andronicus (1993): Octagon Theatre, Bolton
PrTitus Andronicus (1993)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Julia Finlay (Tamora); Paula Garfield (Lavinia); John Griffin (Saturninus); Peter Harding (Titus); Fidel Nanton (Aaron); Christopher Wright (Marcus Andronicus).
The production ran from 25 March - 10 April 1993. It was the recipient of an Arts Council 'Be Bold' award, which resulted in the production being performed partly in British Sign Language with a cast that included profoundly deaf performers, including Paula Garfield who played Lavinia. Some sign language was specially devised for the production, according to the programme, including one for 'Andronicus', which consisted of placing an open palm on the top of the signer's head and moving it to the back of his head, fingers extended to represent a plumed Roman warrior's helmet. The production was featured on BBC2's The Late Show, according to the Bolton Evening News (3 April 1993).
"Actors don clothes from different eras as this tale of lust, rape and bloody revenge unfolds...Deaf and hearing actors mingle in this production - the first of its kind in a major professional British theatre - and far from detracting from the play, the 'signing' gestures enchance the visual impact of the drama. Percussion instruments are used to spine-tingling effect. The actors leap about like acrobats and shin up and down scaffolding and ladders. One actor is lowered onto the stage in a harness....Fidel Nanton is outstanding and portrays wickedness personified in Aaron the Moor....Don't miss this." ~ Bolton Evening News, 29 March 1993