Brian Cox: Titus Andronicus


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Actor Brian Cox
in one of his great Shakespearean performances
"Titus Andronicus"

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Brian Cox: Titus Andronicus

  1. 1. BRIAN COXTitus Andronicus by Cam M. Roberts
  2. 2. Production Photo of Brian Cox (right) in performance, playing the titular role, Titus Andronicus.
  3. 3. Date of Birth: June 1st, 1946.Birthplace: Dundee, Scotland, United KingdomBirth Name: Brian Dennis CoxRace: Caucasian (White)Height: 5’ 9 ¼
  4. 4. Titus Andronicus (1591–2) Royal Shakespeare Company Opened at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon on May 12th, 1987 Directed by Deborah Warner Designed by Isabella BywaterWith Jim Hooper as Saturninus, Estelle Kohler as TAMORA,Peter Polycarpou as AARON, and Sonia Ritter as LAVINIA.
  5. 5. Titus Andronicus was again a tremendous success with Brian Cox’s performance inDeborah Warner’s 1987 RSC staging in theSwan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. It washailed as one of the greatest Shakespeare revivalsof the 1980s. When Working out a wish list ofperformance I hoped to include in this book,Cox’s Titus was a leading contender. I wasstunned by it” Julian Curry, p. 2.
  6. 6. Cox on Shakespeare CURRY: It’s in the text? COX: It’s in the text. It really is.
  7. 7. CURRY: Most of the characters seem fairly straightforward,apart form Titus. But he’s wonderfully complex. Going back tothe beginning of the play, why did you turn down the candidacyto be Emperor? And why did you support Saturninus?COX: I think it’s the fact that he’s a soldier, he’s not a politician. And he’s not of royal blood. There are feudal elements to theplay, and he sees very clearly where he is on the feudal ladder.He makes the wrong choice in supporting Saturninus, but hedoes it in order to safeguard something which… he believes thatthings are going to be better served by Saturninus. And hemakes a massive error of judgment. Actually the reason hedoesn’t take on the candidacy of Rome is because he doesn’twant it. He doesn’t want to be Emperor, that’s not who he is. Curry, p. 10.
  8. 8. CURRY: He says ‘I’m too old, too tired, you’llhave to elect somebody else tomorrow…’ But doyou think he really means it? Does he want to beasked three times?COX: No, I don’t think he does, I think that’s hishonesty. He’s an honest, bluff old soldier. That’swhat makes him an attractive character.
  9. 9. CURRY: Would you say Titus has a tragic flaw?COX: Yes, his tragic flaw is that he doesn’t askquestions. He’s unquestioning, he’s a killingmachine, and as a result he becomes brutalized.He sees the death of his sons as being rathernoble. But then it impinges on him. Whenyou’ve got thirty sons you don’t notice it, butwhen it’s down to four you begin to think ‘Hangon, they’ve all gone!’
  10. 10. CURRY: So what’s his journey through the play? Whatdoes he learn?COX: The journey is to realize that he’s lost hishumanity, and to try to reclaim it. Which is what hedoes, in a sense, even by the dastardly killing of hisdaughter. And his line is guaranteed because at the endof the play his son takes over. It’s really interesting thatat the beginning of the play he was obviously a bit of aher. He was a very popular figure. But if you are in theface of such action for so long, and you’re used toserving, serving, serving, you begin not to be able to seefurther than the end of your nose. It happens to a lot ofold soldiers, you know. Soldiers on the whole tend tolive long lives, and they go through changes. They canemerge quite wise, but sometimes they behave brutally.
  11. 11. "Women are all layers. What men don’t understand is that there is no centre to get to,but to appreciate the beauty and the mystery of the woman in all her layers."
  12. 12. BibliographyCox, Brian. Salem to Moscow: An Actor’s Odyssey. London: Methuen, 1991. Print.Curry, Julian. Shakespeare on Stage: Thirteen Leading Actors on Thirteen Key Roles. London: Nick Hearn Books, 2010. Print.Harold, Madd. The Actor’s Guide to Performing Shakespeare: For Film, Television, and Theatre. Hollywood: Lone Eagle, 2002. Print.Internet Movie Database Tomatoes Unofficial Fan Site of Brian Cox Guardian Telegraph Gothamist Talk
  13. 13. BibliographyThe Scotsman Guru Fawcett Society Image Clips Conversation with Brian Cox: Charlie Rose Interview (2003) Conversation with actor Brian Cox: Charlie Rose Interview (2004) Conversation with actor Brian Cox: Charlie Rose Interview (2006) Cox Interview: Manhunter Cox Acting in Tragedy, The BBC Acting Series Cox in Conversation