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Edward II Review

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Reworking of the Christopher Marlowe play

★★★★★

This modern travesty from the play by Christopher Marlowe is rewritten and reworked not only to have a happy ending but also offers performances that rarely rise above school play line-readings.

While the silly, modern interpolations — gay riots, Annie Lennox singing Cole Porter, anti-Thatcher slogans — serve only to reduce the content of the original rather than illuminate.

It’s also short on laughs throughout, apart from the abject silliness, for example; it's hard not to snicker when Tilda Swinton's Morticia Addams villainess unintentionally sums up the whole semi-camp approach with her apt description, "I am a miserable queen."

Fans of the play will be unimpressed with this disjointed version, perhaps Jarman was trying too hard to be original when reworking an old story.

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