Comus – A Masque in Honour Of Chastity

I decided last minute to see this unique play at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe. Comus – A Masque in Honour Of Chastity was written by poet John Milton in 1634, supposedly commissioned to clear the family name of the Earl of Bridgewater after his brother-in-law was executed following a sodomy trial. It follows the story of a Lady lost in the woods, who meets Comus, the God of Revelry, who promises refuge but offers something darker.

The whole concept of a masque is probably alien to most modern audiences, so I appreciated the efforts made by director Lucy Bailey and writer Patrick Barlow, who has added a prologue and epilogue, to put things in context and set the scene for contemporary viewers. The performance spilled over into the crowd, a novel adaptation of the space by designer William Dudley. Performances were strong, including Emma Curtis as the central character Lady Alice. Overall, despite the rather odd subject matter I rather enjoyed this production.

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