First staged in 1682, Thomas Otway’s Restoration revenge tragedy draws on themes of sexual perversion and political corruption. In Prasanna Puwanarajah’s fast-paced version, Blade Runner meets Gotham in a dark, dystopian fantasy.
A SECRET MARRIAGE
Jaffeir, a noble Venetian, has secretly married Belvidera, the daughter of a powerful senator named Priuli. For three years the couple live blissfully, despite her father’s disapproval. When Jaffier loses his fortune and goes to his father-in-law for help, Priuli refuses to provide aid.
Meanwhile, Pierre, a foreign soldier and friend to Jaffeir, is plotting in the shadows. He plans to bring down the Senate in revenge against Antonio, another senator, who is using his political standing to pay for trysts with Pierre’s mistress, Aquilina.
Pierre informs Jaffeir of the plot, stoking his resentment and drawing him into the heart of the revolution. He joins the conspirators, led by their brutal leader Renault. In order to prove his loyalty and win their trust, Jaffeir is forced to offer Belvidera as a hostage.
After suffering a near rape by Renault, Belvidera escapes and runs back to Jaffeir, and begs her husband to inform the Senate of the nefarious plot. Torn between loyalty to his wife and his friend, Jaffeir must choose a side – the failed Senate, or the conspirators as corrupt as those in power?