Shakespeare Play So Gory Audience Members Faint

Others say they felt sick during Globe Theatre production of 'Titus Andronicus'

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 1, 2014 11:52 AM CDT | Updated May 4, 2014 7:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus is a gore-fest, and the Globe Theatre isn't pulling any punches in its revival of the play: Audience members have been fainting, as others have reported feeling sick while watching the production or not being able to sleep afterward, the Telegraph reports. The play features rapes, mutilations, cannibalism, and 14 deaths—including the infamous scene in which Titus murders the sons of his rival and then feeds her a pie made with their remains.

Five people fainted Tuesday night, the Daily Mail reports, during another particularly awful five-minute scene in which a character is raped and has her tongue and hands cut off. Producers warn that the play is "grotesquely violent and daringly experimental," featuring a "terrible cycle of mutilation, rape, and murder," and first-aid responders are on hand. Theatergoers have reported that a "strong stomach" is needed, with one saying he "almost puked" while watching the show. Dozens also fainted in 2006, when the Lucy Bailey production last ran.

A scene from the Public Theater production of "Titus Andronicus" in New York in 2011.   (AP Photo/The Public Theater, Joan Marcus)
People watch as actors perform a scene from William Shakespeare's Hamlet during a photo call to present Hamlet World Tour at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, in London, Wednesday, April 24, 2014.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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