(Lyn Gardner’s article appeared in the Guardian, 11/3.)

Director Lucy Bailey has a deserved reputation for treating difficult plays with an impudent respect and getting the best out of them – as with her splendidly gory Titus Andronicus at Shakespeare’s Globe. Now she has taken a text by the 17th-century poet John Milton and with the help of Patrick Barlow, founder of the National Theatre of Brent and adapter of The 39 Steps, turned it into something akin to The Masque That Goes Wrong.

The result may remain something of a curiosity, but it is a beautifully performed featherlight confection that’s funny, sexy and reframes the piece subtitled “a Masque in Honour of Chastity” into one in honour of a young woman who knows her own mind and how she intends to live in a male-dominated world.

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Photo: Independent


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