Violence, vomit, and hysteria: An interview with Rose Reynolds

This year’s RSC Titus Andronicus sounds like an extraordinary theatre experience. Book your tickets now. Sick bags are allegedly provided…

Get a taster (yum!) from Thomas Dixon’s blog post for QMUL’s Centre for the HIstory of the Emotions.

Violence, vomit, and hysteria: An interview with Rose Reynolds

by Thomas Dixon

Shakespeare’s first tragedy, revived by Michael Fentiman for the RSC this summer, is a story of blood, tears, rape, and entrails. From the opening scenes, in which Titus orders the ritual disembowelling of the Goth Queen Tamora’s son, the violence and revenge spiral out of control, culminating in Act 5 in a macabre cannibalistic feast in which Tamora (now Empress of Rome) unwittingly eats her own sons, the rapists of Titus’s daughter Lavinia, who has assisted in their butchery, collecting their blood in a kind of inverted eucharist. Throughout the play, hands, tongues, heads, and bowels are lopped, trimmed, and hewn. Lavinia is not only raped, but has her tongue and hands cut off by her assailants, Demetrius and Chiron…

Rose Reynolds as Lavinia in the 2013 RSC production of Titus Andronicus, directed by Michael Fentiman. Photograph by Simon Annand.

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