Measure for Measure (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Measure for Measure

The Bard, updated by Theatre Oikos and with a star turn by Hannah Dalton

Theatre Oikos' take on one of the densest of Shakespeare's works is vibrant and zippy, if a little uneven. The action takes place in a present-day London underworld setting, populated by pimps and gangsters. As with so many of the Bard's tales, a kiss can mean betrayal and trusting those you love can be an act of folly. So it is when 'The Duke' (Harry Gaff) goes on holiday, entrusting twisted nephew Angelo (Harry Stopps) with the family business. It goes without saying that sex and corruption are lurking around every corner.

Counter to this is the religious influence of Isabella, a novice nun, brilliantly portrayed by Hannah Dalton, who is willing to sacrifice herself when her brother Claudio (Piers Darby) is facing execution. She is the moral centre of the piece, a calm antidote to the rampant egotism of the men surrounding her.

It’s a bold decision indeed to turn Shakespeare into a gangster tale, and the fresh-faced ensemble has energy and sass to spare. With a few tunes from Arctic Monkeys, a pinch of street slang and sovereign rings, the Bard’s been updated

Zoo Southside, 662 6892, Until 10 Aug, £7.50 (£5).

Measure for Measure

  • 3 stars

Hypocrite: person who creates a false appearance of virtue/religion or acts in contradiction of their stated beliefs. Theatre Oikos, in their sixth visit to the Fringe, provide some solutions to Shakespeare’s problem play. There’s comedy, tragedy and a love story but ultimately it’s a comment on our attempts to measure up…