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Attitude: Review: Jubilee at Royal Exchange Theatre

November 9th, 2017

attitude16aIt’s always wonderful to see Toyah Willcox on stage. Often remembered solely for her pop career, Toyah is also an actress. In 1977 she filmed Jubilee, Derek Jarman’s brutal meditation on the state of a Britain that was being soaked in royalist propaganda to mark 25 years of Elizabeth II’s reign. Toyah played an orange-haired pyromaniac called Mad. In Chris Goode’s new stage adaptation and updating of Jarman’s film, she plays Elizabeth I.

The forty year in between has seen the world transformed and the sometimes progressive, sometimes violently anarchic world of punk has been utterly transcended. Reviving punk for now and updating what many regard a seminal cult classic was always going to be an enormous challenge. Goode takes it on bravely but perhaps not boldly enough.

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