mon 16/09/2019

Precocity of Vice: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore returns | reviews, news & interviews

Precocity of Vice: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore returns

Precocity of Vice: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore returns

The notorious play has been revived, but is it really so very beastly?

In the family: Sara Vickers and Damien Molony as the incestuous lovers in ''Tis Pity She's a Whore'

John Ford’s tragedy‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, set in the Italian city of Parma, tells the story of a young brother and sister, Giovanni and Annabella, who discover a mutual love for each other and embark on a passionate sexual relationship. The challenges of family, church and society increasingly curtail their freedom to pursue their desires, and the play culminates in a terrifyingly brutal and bloody climax. When Ford wrote the play, probably in the late 1620s, he was in his forties and was nearing 50 when it was published in 1633. The play is so often talked about as if the work of a rebellious, youthful writer, keen to shock, whereas it is more accurately viewed as a considered portrayal of a complex sexual relationship by a mature author. It is revived this week by West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Many critics have been particularly troubled by what they see as Ford’s too-lenient attitude to the lovers

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I saw a fantastic production of this play ages ago with Jude Law, Eve Best and Kevin McKidd at the Young Vic. I still remember the play as being absolutely stunning (and Eve Best sporting an impressive array of bruises on her arms due to her being handled quite roughly by her co-stars...)! I don't understand how it is not staged more regularly.

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