Titus Andronicus (1985)

TV Movie   |  Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Horror


Titus Andronicus (1985) Poster

Roman warrior Titus Andronicus finds himself trapped in a nightmarish cycle of vengeance, misery, and bloodshed.


7.7/10
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10 September 2018 | mhk11
9
| a commendable production of a somewhat underrated play
Though "Titus Andronicus" is the least impressive of Shakespeare's tragedies, it is quite a sophisticated and subtle drama despite its overweening goriness. The BBC's 1985 production of the play is especially to be commended for its retention of most of the text; the excisions are minor and generally well-judged. There are a few somewhat curious directorial decisions -- such as the heavy emphasis on the young Lucius and an equally heavy emphasis on the fate of Aaron's child (a fate that is left entirely unaddressed by Shakespeare's text) -- but the overall staging of the play is solid.

Trevor Peacock is excellent in the title role. Unlike Anthony Hopkins in the BBC's production of "Othello," he appears to be the rugged soldier whom he is portraying. His husky voice (also on display in his depiction of Feste in "Twelfth Night") is well suited to his often poignant lines.

Hugh Quarshie is likewise outstanding as Aaron. On the page, Aaron can come across as a one-dimensional evildoer whose love for his son is his only leavening quality. However, Quarshie brings him to life as an evildoer who is shrewd and witty as well as ferociously dangerous.

Edward Hardwicke and Elaine Atkins deliver fine performances as Marcus and Tamora respectively. Brian Protheroe is generally good as Saturninus, though he highlights the emperor's puerility excessively; his performance would have benefited from slightly more gravitas.

The remaining performances are likewise impressive, apart from that of Paul Davies Prowles as the young Lucius. That one lackluster performance is a minor blemish, however, in a production that otherwise does justice to a somewhat underrated play.

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Genres

Drama | Horror

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