WTF?: image via The Lowry

Adapted by Fastasbl from the play by Thomas Middleton with new material by Caroline Lamarche
Fastasbl and L’Ancre
The Lowry
19th-21st November 2015

This short review was originally published as a comment here.

I was all for a radical modernisation of this highly patriarchal Jacobean play, which deals in rape and tragedy mainly as they pertain to a range of despicable male characters. But Fast Asbl’s 75-minute production seemed 75 minutes too long as the audience sat stunned before an incomprehensible range of mini-scenes and ‘workshop’ sections that seemed scripted, yet were performed in an oddly stilted way. We waited and waited for the cast to begin in earnest – rather than introducing first the play, then themselves, and then tangent after befuddling tangent – but it never happened.

If the company were trying to tell us something about the relationship between the play and our own times, I wanted to hear it, but could understand neither their message, nor even the methods they were trying to use to convey it. Unstructured, unclear and much too clever for its own good.