Written by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley
Directed by Jackie Maxwell
High Speed Havoc is how Jackie Maxwell described her production of The Changeling. And high speed it was! As with the only other Middleton play we have seen (The Revengers Tragedy), the play moves along at a very fast pace. Characters arrive and depart. Plots arise and change. There are actually two plots, although I have to confess I never did figure out what was going on between Antonio (Gareth Potter) and Isabela (Jessica B. Hill).
The main plot was the usual story. Beatrice Joanna’s (Mikaeal Davies) father wants her to marry one man. She wants to marry another. She enlists help from a servant she hates to have her father’s candidate murdered. De Flores (Ben Carlson) demands sex in payment. She complies, but then has to figure out how to be a virgon on her wedding night. Enter the maid servant Diapahnta, (Ijeoma Emesowum), who agrees to sleep,with Joanna’s hisband Alsemero (Cyrus Lane) on her behalf. She enjoys it too much and has to be eliminated. More murder.
The overall experience was interesting but to me unsatisfactory. I went home, not sure who did what, why. And I had nomidea whomThe Changeling was. According to the program, it was Antonio. But the actions of the characters leave the title open for anyone to claim.
The play was set in Spain, updated to the Spanish Civil War era. I am not convinced that this added anything, or detracted. But the costumes were easier for people to move around!