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1984albion

'A victim of society's rigid order, which accounts neither for her feelings nor her being, Beatrice cannot come to terms with her own sexual identity or, most important, her sense of self. [...] Cait Laurence reduced Beatrice to an arrogant and spoiled daughter, slipped too soon from her father's control and played on one harsh key. [...] This Beatrice did not really make us care what happened to her.

The versatility of feeling lacking in Beatrice was made up for by De Flores [Nigel Harrison] "Framing ways and excuses to come into [Beatrice's] sight," articulating his words with remarkable intensity, capering with satisfaction at the sudden opportunity to win her, the character inspired persistent affection. But his handsome demeanor - black costume, dark hair, powerful gaze and a tanned face, scarred and pocked but not "ugly and loathsome" - made one forget the monstrosity of his nature. Harrison exuded so much sexuality that he remained "a man worth loving' throughout.

Alsemero was consciously presented with all the dullness of a polished suitor. He was gracious and composed and, in contrast with De Flores, wore a light costume to match his fair hair and complexion. He spoke with a soft voice whereas De Flores' was metallic and strong. There was a somewhat feminine delicacy about this character, and he would have made a plausible match for a more savage and despairing heroine.

There were a number of well worked out sequences. All the gory details were there. The dispatching of Piracquo in the dark passages of Alicant was overpowering [...] and the removal of his finger was rendered in almost clinical detail. [...] The comic action was rich in abundantly alive scenes, with a good Isabella from Lucy Aran.

The grim walls of Alicant's hall, with three sets of doors and a balcony, made up the environment of the madhouse too. In both cases the stage was almost bare; but whenever the action moved to the madhouse, we heard continuous, inarticulate screams. the two entrances of the lunatics, first as beasts, then as birds, were probably the strongest gestures of the subplot.'  

Ewa Elandt Jankowska, RORD, 27 (1984), 137-8