'I'here are two Jack Cades on show here: the Mummerset-snarling anarchist thug of Shakespeare's Henry VI, and the historical figure who led a well-motivated Kentish revolt against corrupt baronial power in 1450. Cade returns from beyond the grave (sprinkling half-quotations from all over Shakespeare) to set the record straight, but rediscovers forgotten atrocities of his own. Brett Fancy is powerful and assured in his own play, questioning both the bard's hatchet-job and Cade's own recollections with easy comic sidelights from a London potboy caught up in the mêlée. His performance sustains intelligent but occasionally limp writing (uncertain verse, anachronistic speech) and makes for an engaging and reliable studio piece.
Written for The Independent.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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