REVIEW: Across The Dark Water at Portchester Castle

Darrell Brockis had echoes of Macbeth in his portrayal of Lord Scrope of Masham. Picture: Simon Annand
Darrell Brockis had echoes of Macbeth in his portrayal of Lord Scrope of Masham. Picture: Simon Annand
Picture: Shutterstock

REVIEW: Beauty and The Beast at Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

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It is rare that a play is performed in the place it is set, but that was the case for this retelling of the Southampton Plot to dethrone King Henry V in 1415.

Commissioned by the Berry Theatre in Hedge End as part of its commemorations of the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, this was an educational and entertaining night.

The quality of acting on display turned what could have been a high-end museum installation into a night of historical drama

It was housed in the inner bailey of Portchcester Castle where the plot was actually revealed to Henry, and the atmosphere was palpable during the scenes of treachery and soliloquies of conflicted conspirator Lord Scrope of Masham.

Acted superbly by Darrell Brockis, parallels to Macbeth became clear in these moments. But they also exposed the weaknesses in the script.

Compared to the psychological complexity of the Bard’s anti-hero, the motivations of these characters to commit treason seemed under-developed and at times unconvincing.

However, the energy and quality of acting on display turned what could have been a high-end museum installation into a night of historical drama.

Show is on tour until August 2.