(Andrew Dickson’s interview with Sandra Smith appeared in the Guardian, 2/8.)
The first thing you think when you’re asked to work on Titus is that the stage staff and costumes people are going to kill you. It’s Shakespeare’s grisliest play, and you know there’s going to be blood everywhere. The hero’s daughter is raped then mutilated. Titus chops his own hand off on stage. The play ends when he kills the two sons of his bitter enemy and bakes them in a pie. I’ve worked for the RSC for the best part of 30 years and done several productions of it, most recently with Michael Fentiman in 2013. It doesn’t really get messier than Titus.