Titus Andronicus is showing in the Playhouse from 27 August through 22 September. Get your tickets now.
A quick flick through Titus Andronicus
Flushed with military victory over the Goths, Romans should be enjoying a period of peace, law and order. Instead, Rome is “a wilderness of tigers”.
Tamora, Queen of the Goths, is a prisoner of war along with her three sons. Despite Tamora’s pleas for mercy, Roman war hero Titus Andronicus executes Tamora’s eldest son. She swears revenge.
Two brothers, Saturninus and Bassianus, are vying to rule Rome but Titus is the people’s choice. Titus declines the seat of power and, thrust into the role of kingmaker, bestows the honour upon Saturninus. To sweeten the deal, Saturninus announces his intention to marry Lavinia, Titus’s daughter – but then has a swift change of heart and marries Tamora instead.
This outcome suits Lavinia, who is now free to marry her true love, Bassianus. But Tamora’s lover Aaron has other ideas. He incites Tamora’s sons, Chiron and Demetrius, to murder Bassianus, and rape and mutilate Lavinia. Aaron then frames two of Titus’s sons for the crimes.
At Aaron’s suggestion, Titus sacrifices his own arm to try and secure his sons’ release – but only their severed heads are returned to him. Distraught and vengeful, Titus sends his only surviving son, Lucius, to raise an army with the Goths.
The story concludes as it began: in bloodshed. Titus has his revenge over Tamora, by killing her sons and serving them up for her dinner. He then kills her too, before Saturninus kills him.
Having murdered the nurse who delivered his newborn baby, Aaron has gone on the run. He remains unrepentant, even after he is captured by Lucius, and sentenced to death.
Lucius invades with the Goths, slays Saturninus and seizes power. An uneasy peace settles over Rome…