Love’s Sacrifice review – sharply staged John Ford revival by the RSC | Stage | The Guardian

I'ev no real idea why they revived this play.  It really doesn't give any of the characters any thought through motivation and therefore you really don't engage with any of them.  Just not a very good play.  The biggest problem is that the evil Iago character seems to be evil simply for the fun of it, he seems to stand to gain nothing from it.

The staging also uses a lot of Bill Viola like projection which does not add to the drama much, and the projection of foetuses onto the stomachs of the 3 pregnant unmarried mothers is bafflingly unnecessary.

Its well acted as far as it goes, but no engagement is provoked and the ending is such a come-down that I felt sorry for the actors at the end who surely must want to creep home rather than go to an after show party.

Matthew Kelly was very good.

The problem, I think, with the way the play was performed, is that the plot only works if the audience are ery clear at the begining that  D'Avolos is in love with,  or wants to benefit from, Fiormonda, the widowed sister of Caraffa, becoming Duchess through the destruction of her brother.  Then all the machinations make sense, and then Fernando;  Bianca, and iCaraffa become tragic figures forced into action by circumstances created by D'Avolos. But then is not really clear from the plot as you watch it.This is mostly the fault of the writing but I think the director could have at least helped make this more clear. 

The other interesting aspect of the play is attitudes towards women. The subplot of the 3 pregnant women blames the man for immorality clearly, and places very little blame on the women. Bianca makes a remarkable speech about her love for Fernando which makes it clear that she feels the right to be in love with whom she likes.  I suspect this is why they chose to perform the play.

Love’s Sacrifice review – sharply staged John Ford revival by the RSC | Stage | The Guardian


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