Description

Dominic Dromgoole directed the 2015 production of Measure for Measure at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. This photograph shows (from left to right) Dean Nolan as Elbow, Petra Massey as Mistress Overdone and Trevor Fox as Pompey.

The brothel-keeper Mistress Overdone – wracked with sexual disease – is wheeled along by her servant Pompey. They are pursued by Elbow, the ineffective constable, who wants to expose the ‘abuses’ in their ‘naughty house’ (2.1.43; 77).

This production seemed to relish the play’s bawdy side, with the comic low-life characters flirting raucously with the groundlings before the performance started. The effect was to seduce the audience into enjoying the rude jokes, before raising the moral question of how sexuality should be policed in licentious Vienna.

In his review for Variety (2 July 2015), Matt Trueman wrote:

Dromgoole’s Vienna is a riot … Trevor Fox’s reptilian pimp Pompey slithers hither and thither, and Petra Massey’s Mistress Overdone pumps her crotch at all and sundry. It’s noisy, it’s earthy, it’s unruly. All of life is here, with incontinent pissheads passed out in the corner and posh partyboys with their pants round their ankles.

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