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Edward II at the National Theatre

The young king's cries are still able to raise the town

By Michael Coveney  

Christopher Marlowe’s last play goaded Shakespeare to respond with the more frequently performed Richard II. But Marlowe’s magnificent chronicle of an acclaimed and then imprisoned monarch, and his favoured catamite, Piers Gaveston, can still seem a strikingly modern and controversial play.

Joe Hill-Gibbins’s production is part of the Travelex £12 ticket scheme in the Olivier auditorium, and is unlikely to stint on homoerotic tension, brutality among the barons and the red hot poker murder scene (“I fear me that this cry will raise the town”).

Edward made Ian McKellen an overnight…

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