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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Globe warns over 'gruesome' play
Titus Andronicus at the Globe
Titus Andronicus is one of Shakespeare's most violent works
The Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London has warned audiences to be prepared for its "gruesome and bloody" staging of the Bard's Titus Andronicus.

A spokesman said visitors "should be aware of its graphic nature" of the production, which opened on 20 May.

The Globe has had "a higher level of fainters this year than we normally would experience", he added.

The warning follows newspaper reports that several audience members fainted during one performance this week.

The Globe spokesman said the theatre "often" had people fainting during performances - but usually at the height of summer.

He added the theatre did not record exact figures of people who faint during performances.


The Globe is a recreation of a playhouse where Shakespeare worked 400 years ago, and many audience members stand as "groundlings" in the yard in front of the stage.

Directed by Lucy Bailey, Titus Andronicus features cannibalism, mutilation and more than a dozen killings.

The Globe has described the play - which stars Douglas Hodge in the title role - as "a terrible cycle of mutilation, rape and murder".

In one scene, according to Shakespeare's stage directions, Titus's daughter Lavinia enters with "her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out, and ravished".

The play was filmed in 2000 starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange.

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