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May 24, 2010 | by  | in Arts Theatre | [ssba]

The Famous History of Sir Thomas Wyatt

I predict a Wyatt.

The somewhat ironically named Famous History of Sir Thomas Wyatt has not been performed for 400 years. The text is horribly corrupted by history and distance and just being plain lost and found a bunch of times. This all kinda shows in this production put on by the THEA302 class at 77 Fairlie Terrace. It tells of the now rather-obscured-by-the-mists-of-time Thomas Wyatt (Pip Kayser), the man who helped install Queen Mary (Amelia Reynolds), then almost immediately rebelled against her because she wanted to marry a Spaniard.

THEA302 is a class designed to explore the conventions of periods of theatre, so it is no insult to call this show more of an academic exercise than a fully blown theatric explosion. Its successes are all in its replication of the theatre of the Renaissance era. Director David Lawrence (of making Shakespeare cool fame) makes the most of the thrust stage, pulling off some very tricky but effective blocking. The verse and metre are all there, with only one or two moments where you cannot really follow what’s going on or being said.

When considered separate from its role as a school exercise in almost forgotten forms, Sir Thomas Wyatt can be called a moderate success. At 100 or so minutes the pace is snappy and there is plenty of energy and a few properly good laughs. You’re never bored. The performances are on the whole solid. The story is clear and easy to follow.

Lawrence has done an admirable job of making such an obscure and distant play watchable. Whether he made it entertaining is not as easy a question to answer. It’s hard to love Thomas Wyatt, but it’s also pretty hard to hate. You don’t feel that you’ve wasted your time, but you’d be hard pressed to recommend it to anyone.

19 – 22 May / 7.30pm / 77 Fairlie Tce
wri. Thomas Dickers & John Webster
dir. David Lawrence
perf. Abby Rainbow, Owen Behrens, Pip Kayser, Tommy Davis, Thomas Pepperell, Emma Olsen, Travis Graham, Jodie Rowe, Amelia Reynolds, Louise Kelly, Ye Lin Lee, Kristin Finlayson, Amanda Cowan, Rebecca Bryan, Jo Winslade & Lisa Missen


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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