June 26 , 2008

The Annex


If you thought the bloodthirsty Jacobean tragedy, The Changeling, could not be made any more shocking, you haven’t read this version, written by the man Ian Rankin called ‘The Godfather of British Noir’. James cuts to the quick – and in doing so cuts some of the more old-fashioned coincidences, cuts all the speeches, a good deal of the poetry and some of the minor characters, and concentrates instead on the gripping plot and its three main characters (middle aged husband, his young bride, and their wicked servant). From the original play he leaves in the saucy maid, the rival boyfriend and the awful secret, along with Middleton’s outrageous sexual premise, and he serves his dish as fresh and hot as was the original Jacobean play.

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