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December 22, 2009 | by  | in Arts Online Only Theatre | [ssba]



William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus is very much the work of a young writer. Brash, bloody and full of life. It madly flings its plot of murder, madness and men based pies across the stage with an energy that cannot help but be infectious. It is a play almost made for the young and hungry to stage. So, it is with very good luck that the very young and very hungry Long Cloud Youth Theatre Company are responsible for Wellington’s latest production.

publicity 5Long Cloud prove themselves time and time again to be an impressive and talented bunch of young performers. There is a sense of unity and focus in their work that puts some professional productions to shame. I have come to expect such high standards from their work that it feels odd when you come across a case such as Titus. Now, let me get this straight, Titus is good. Big, warm, solid good. That nice elemental good which is a while away from great but further from any kind of disappointment. But, I expect better than good from Long Cloud. It is a sure sign of their talents that good, well, just isn’t good enough.

The work has its share of strengths – acting is energetic and Andrew Foster’s design of hanging dolls and epic sheets is inspired and beautiful. What really drags Titus down from Long Cloud’s usual publicity 7glorious heights are issues that plague every young production of the bard. One never gets a real sense that the cast understand the rhythms of the verse and there are even some deadly moments where it becomes somewhat apparent that the performers don’t fully understand what they are saying which risk the production becoming, for the first time in Long Cloud history, boring.

These things can be excused of course. Long Cloud is, at the end of the day, about giving these talented young’uns the chance to stretch their muscles and learn from their mistakes and one cannot doubt that they along with their fearless leaders Willem Wassenaar and Sophie Roberts will learn from this and grow Titus into something truly wonderful.

Titus Andronicus
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Willem Wassenaar
With Joe Dekkers-Reihana, Liffey Jacobson-Wright, Anthony Young, Anna Harcourt, Alisha Tyson, Estere Dalton, Vanessa Cullen, Johanna Cosgrove, Michael Boyes, Robert Hartley, Felix Borthwick, Tai Berdinner-Blades and Hayden Frost.

At Wellington Performing Arts Centre
4 – 7 December 2009


About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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  1. someone says:

    You just didnt come on the right night mat, other shows were smokin! plus remember the cast was doubled!

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