Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

This Much -and No More; THEATRE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

This Much -and No More; THEATRE

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA MOUNTFORD

Thomas More

Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon

THERE can be no denying the topicality of the first half of Thomas More. For this 1592 curio, written primarily by Anthony Munday but revised by Shakespeare among others, shows race riots in the city of London. The year is 1517, "aliens and strangers" are taking the work and furious locals are hell-bent on revenge.

This jumbled and overlong piece is presented now - there is no evidence that it was ever staged at the time of its writing - as part of the RSC's Gunpowder Season of forgotten plays detailing political turmoil.

Despite the sense of urgency that Robert Delamere successfully injects into his production, the harsh conclusion has to be that More's interestvalue remains largely academic.

The major stumbling block is the disjunction between the two halves of the action. In the first, explosive section, More himself is a mere part of a greater and more gripping whole, using his rational rhetoric to avert a bloody end to the riots. …

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