History is contingent and written by the victors—so what?
Blood & Rose Ensemble
Shakespeare’s Wild Sisters Group
25 February 2018
Esplanade Theatre Studio
23–25 February 2018
To illustrate the contingency of history, this production is shot through with meta-theatricality.
Several art forms [Foley sound effects, Shuang Huang (双簧), movements from Chinese opera, pop music, etc.] are employed to continuously highlight the performativity of the piece as well as the history of War of the Roses.
While it is generally intriguing and entertaining, the novelty of it fades after a while. Yes, in some senses, history and life as a whole is contingent—so what? It’s much ado about very little.
Furthermore, the lightness of touch erases the humanity of the characters, which what makes Shakespeare’s Henry VI part 3 and Richard III interesting.
You don’t need two hours to tell us that out lives are contingent and—in the grand scheme of things—our desires, struggles, and strife are petty.