Edward II is described as an 'intense and thrilling exploration of political and sexual power games' in the Directors notes (Luke Kernaghan) and boy, it did not disappoint. Marlowe's historical play was transformed into a sleek, contemporary piece full of beautifully tailored suits, a perspex throne and (strangely) pristine beards. The utilisation of space and shapes within the play effortlessly portrayed the hierarchy and power status between the characters, with the throne being set high on a rake above the rest of the simplistic set.
Patrick Riley's portrayal of Edward II, in his pure white ensemble, was highly charismatic and polished, yet fascinatingly wild. His characterisation had depth and he was gripping throughout. His counterpart Mortimer, Jack Frank, (in a contrasting all black suit - very nice touch) was strong of voice and ringing with energy from beginning to end. Joseph Payne as Prince Edward was compelling with his conflicted character journey throughout the play, it was a shame we didn't see more of him and his father's relationship. Hannah Dismore as Queen Isabella was the epitome of elegance, her voice dripping with gravitas. Oliver Clayton as Gaveston, Ethan Harvey as Spencer and Joe Yussuff as Edmund each performed with ease and eloquence; their characters intriguing and slick. The noble lords within the play - Ben Webber, George Douglas and Mike Peploe - delivered a unified ensemble energy, with a particular mention to Harry James whose Lancaster was laden with sophistication and malice.
My only critique is I wish I could have seen more - more character relationships brimming with tension. The play was expertly executed by all involved to provide a fast paced, sleek and sexy piece of theatre. - ★★★★☆ Faye Butler