Dracula-Edinburgh 2018Jekyll & Hyde A Christmas Carol Civil RoguesSherlock Holmes- The London CuckoldsShort FilmsPast ProductionsPhoto gallery page
Danny Wainwright
Dracula 2018
Civil Rogues *** reviews
 

fest

3 stars
Civil Rogues
Image: Jassy Earl

A healthy rendition of subversive Jacobean theatre that's carried by a convincing cast

With Shakespeare In Love just opening in London, you’d think it’d be a little longer before we started seeing more Jacobean capers in the same vein. Tim Norton’s Civil Rogues broadly copies Stoppard’s winning formula of taking a Shakespearean play and subverting its context, creating a sketchy romp in the process. There’s the usual cross-dressing, long speeches about theatre and a smattering of knowing quotes for the geeks, but it’s an enjoyable 60 minutes all the same.

Set during Cromwell’s reign, Norton begins with a performance of Romeo and Juliet that's broken up by order of the Lord Protector, scattering the rogues far and wide. We follow Charles, Will and Richard, who run away in their dresses and have to keep up the guise in Lady Margaret Cavendish’s household, testing their acting abilities. Scenes of a farcical nature ensue.

Marieke Audsley’s direction struggles to hide the showcase-like nature of the production, but draws out some solid performances from the cast all the same. Elliott Ross, Laurie Davidson and Sam Woolf provide a sturdy centre to the show as the three players, and Kate Craggs as Cavendish is a peevish orchestrator of events. It’s a cohesive ensemble, and does the best it can with a less-than-original script.

This is a spirited defence of theatre which isn’t quite completely coloured in, with the hefty and complex plot struggling to convey a real sense of jeopardy or farce either way. Civil Rogues has nothing in it that you haven't seen before, but it just about manages to pull it off.




 

Dracula-Edinburgh 2018Jekyll & Hyde A Christmas Carol Civil RoguesSherlock Holmes- The London CuckoldsShort FilmsPast ProductionsPhoto gallery page