Tamburlaine RSC

Michael Boyd and I have returned to this epic text in his specially adapted version. We created a production for TFANA in Brooklyn in 2014 and have now moved on to the Swan in Stratford. As always when working with Michael the production develops and evolves.I am most proud of the costume journey in the piece , working closely with Natasha Ward my costume supervisor, we have taken references from contemporary Asia, Middle East and the original period and found a way of gradually moving through time as the production develops. A huge challenge is how to dramatise the relentless violence without getting into audience fatigue. Michael has cleverly found a way to abstract much of the violence , having a young boy Calamine, the son of Bajazeth one of Tamburlaine’s main combatants in part 1, use a bucket of blood which he  throws over the bodies of his brained parents or uses a paint brush to add wounds. Later in the piece when Tamburlaine shockingly kills his own son for cowardliness, we used a more realistic stabbing ,so the audience who were used to a more stylised forms of violence were suddenly shocked by its vicious reality close up.

the Independent

Here is a link to Ellie Kurttz’s fabulous production photographs

Tamburlaine By Marlowe, RSC Swan 18, Directed by Michael Boyd, Designed by Tom Piper , Lighting by Colin Grenfell. Sagar Arya as Bajezeth. Phot0 by Ellie Kurttz

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