If the success of Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it is that modern audiences like their stories related with blood and rape, preferably in excess. And so, Titus Andronicus at the Globe: Shakespeare meets Game of Thrones (meets Master Chef). It is hard to overstate the gore; at least seven people fainted during the performance, some of whom had to be wheeled out, and one of whom returned for the second act only to faint again. Either a triumph of dramaturgy on the part of the producers, or failure of intestinal fortitude on the part of the theatre going public.
I do wonder, given the authentic Shakespearean venue ("No photographs please") whether the average member of the Elizabethan audience might not have been generally more accustomed to blood and gore, and whether or not he would have raised even an eyebrow at a severed limb if he should come across one on his way to the George Inn for a post-andronical pint.
Besides the gore and the rape which, as they say in India "sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong," there isn't really much to the story. Titus goes mad a la Heston Blumenthal, and probably the most interesting character is the Moor.
Titus Andronicus is at Shakespeare's Globe until the 13th of July, 2014.