A new version of Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure for City Garage by Charles A. Duncombe
Vienna is corrupt, brimming with sex and vice. The Duke, lax in enforcing the strict laws, leaves the city in the hands of a puritanical reformer eager to impose moral order. His substitute begins ordering executions but when a beautiful young novice, pleading for the life of her brother, provokes his own lust, he resorts to sexual blackmail. When she threatens to expose him, he demands who would believe her? In this version of Shakespeare’s play for City Garage, gender politics, power, and sexuality are examined through a contemporary lens. A cast of seven playing multiple characters take a text from 1604 and create an intense, darkly comic, biting commentary on our own times. Then, as now, power and sex are inextricably entwined and the question of how to receive justice equally urgent to answer.
“Author/adaptor Charles A. Duncombe’s version of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure offers a timely skewering of sexual harassment, religious hypocrisy, and state repression....Stellar performances from the cast under Frédérique Michel’s direction…. Courtney Brechemin, Kat Johnston, and Beyer skillfully juggle multiple roles, while director Michel manipulates that dynamic with some clever clowning in staging and costume changes…. The futility of trusting in the Church or the State to protect women from sexual predators is driven home in the words of both Shakespeare and Duncombe. Sadly, not much has changed since then.”
“Top Ten!” Stage Raw
“The best production of this "problem play" I have ever seen….[Courtney Brechemin] nearly steals the show…. At the very end--and here I cannot praise Charles A. Duncombe's editing nor Frederique Michel's direction enough--what seems like the perfect ending in terms of theatrical formula lies naked in its exploitation and deceit and casual sadism. So...wow!”
The World Through Night Tinted Glasses