Performing Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus

This year for the SGCNZ Shakespeare Festival, I directed a sequence from “Titus Andronicus”. This is what I was thinking, and how it went in the long run, with video attached.

The cast and crew of Shakespeare 2023

The thing about Titus is that it is a very, very, very bloody play. It features everything horrid that you can cram into a play – murder, revenge, war, rape, cannibalism…. you know. The worst. So how does one do this with a bunch of teenagers in a way where they can be safe, looked after, and stretch their creative muscles?


Yup, I went Epic Theatre. There was still plenty of blood. But mostly symbollic Roman garb – white with capes, Romanesque statue people. Heavy use of colour as symbols of the “sides” in the conflict. Giant pie slices on wheels filled with the villains ready to be fed to their mother. Skull masks to show the departed.

James Morland as Titus and Ngakau Aporo as Aaron

Overall, it worked well. There are things I would have liked to improve. We didn’t have enough time to work with the long costumes (due to my own time being spent on all the things) as well as time out of class. I think I would have had things perfect with 2 more weeks… but isn’t that always the way.

So please enjoy the show.

And a massive shout out to the OG 3 – James, Freya and Monet who have now finished 5 years of Shakespeare with me.

Monet, Freya and James – thank you for 5 years of Shakespeare

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