The beautiful Beatrice-Joana and Alsamero fall in love after meeting in a church. Infatuated by him but already betrothed to Alonzo, Beatrice-Joana vows to do anything to marry Alsamero — even at the expense of her existing fiancée. She sends a servant to commit murder in her name; the murderous DeFlores is so hideous she cannot bear to even touch the dropped gloves he returns to her, and tells him to keep them: “Draw thine own skin off with ‘em.” Only now she needs him... But in the face of her desperation, the lovestruck DeFlores will accept no gold or riches — the price of his services is her virginity.
Award-winning actress Hattie Morahan
Having bagged best actress at both the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards plus an Olivier nomination , Hattie Morahan is on the cusp of stage superstardom. She's worked extensively with the RSC, National Theatre and the Old and Young Vic, along with roles in the BBC's adaptation of Sense and Sensibility and a regular comic part in sitcom Outnumbered. Her performance of Nora in the Young Vic's acclaimed production of The Doll's House established Morahan as an emotive and accomplished stage actress; we're excited to see how she tackles the intensity of anti-heroine Beatrice-Joanna.
The Wanamaker is already proving itself as a triumphant extension of the Globe’s work since its unveiling last year and its inaugural production of Duchess of Malfi with Gemma Arterton. The season is made up of a trio of Jacobean tragedies, beginning with John Ford’s incestuous ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and the jealous love story of The Broken Heart and finishing with Thomas Middleton’s Changeling. It has been the plan since before construction was finished to stage this play in particular at the Wanamaker.
The space has already seen many tragedies of the Jacobean era so it’s heartening to know that this production will remain faithful to the text and include William Rowley’s comic subplot. Though often cut, this strand of the Changeling adds new depths and tone to the play. It takes place in Bedlam asylum, and explores a twisted romance between a married woman and her lover, who enlists the help of resident madmen to seduce her.
But at its heart, it is the noxious relationship between virginal Beatrice-Joana and monstrous DeFlores that sees The Changeling stand the test of time. Language is used to both strike and seduce: “a woman dipp’d in blood”, “engender with a viper” “the east is not more beauteous than his service.” It is to the theatre’s credit to put on so many classics with female leads, after a spate of all-male productions. As excited as we are to see which actors will take on Beatrice-Joana and DeFlores, there’s a great opportunity for young actresses in the form of the quick-witted Diaphanta and the adventurous Isabella.
|What||The Changeling, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse|
|Where||Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, 21 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Blackfriars (underground)|
15 Jan 15 – 01 Mar 15, 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Globe's website.|