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Con-fusion of two worlds.

Review TROILUS AND CRESSIDA: SWAN THEATRE, STRATFORD THE combination of the Royal Shakespeare Company and New York's experimental Wooster Group is an exciting prospect.

But this production of Troilus and Cressida is experimental to the extreme, proving hard work for an audience that left baffled by unanswered questions.

The RSC (playing the Greeks as modern-day troops) and Wooster (playing the Trojans as Native Americans) seem to have rehearsed for two very different plays. The Greek camp develops into a dazzling display of homoeroticism, with a tender bond between a muscular and scantily clad Achilles and a gold-stiletto wearing Patroclus. There is a charmingly hilarious performance from Zubin Varla as wheelchair-bound transvestite Thersites, complete with tinny microphone, amplified gesticulation and the voice of a Bolton bingo caller.

Varla steals this disjointed show, while most of his comrades fail to form a bond with their audience.

We don't understand why the title characters fall in love. A boring Troilus is punching well above his weight with the spritely Cressida, played by Marin Ireland who recently round fame in hit US TV series Homeland.

And the scenes that should give us some understanding of their attraction are interrupted by the actors' frequent glances at the TVs surrounding the stage as they try to mirror the actions of Native Americans on the screens. Why? Who knows? The aim of revelling in the contradictions and incoherence of Shakespeare's "problem" play is full of promise, but the experimentation feels overegged, leaving the audience working too hard for too small a reward. Until August 18.



audience in a problematic production.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 11, 2012
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