Screenplay: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Director: Alex Cox
Released: 2001 at UK and international film festivals, 2002, UK, Bard Entertainment, Exterminating Angel, Northcroft Films
Ten years ago, the Duke (Derek Jacobi) murdered Vindici’s wife on their wedding day. Vindici (Christopher Eccleston) fled. His family fell into poverty, while the Duke, Duchess (Diana Quick) and their decadent sons acquired wealth and power.
Today, Vindici returns. With the help of his brother Carlo (Andrew Schofield), he sets about the destruction of the Duke and his entire clan. But it will not be easy. The Duke is well-protected; and his villainous first-born, Lussurioso (Eddie), is determined to seduce Vincici's sister, Castiza (Carla Henry).
When the Duke's youngest son is imprisoned for the rape of a beautiful aristocrat, Imogen (Sophie Dahl), Vindici sees an opportunity to test his mother and his sister, and to secure his revenge.
Revengers Tragedy is based on the classic play by Thomas Middleton. It was first published, anonymously, in 1607, having been performed by Shakespeare's company, The King’s Men. Middleton was one of Shakespeare's young collaborators: he also worked on Macbeth and Measure For Measure. In the 1650s, authorship of the play was ascribed to another playwright and poet, Cyril Tourneur. Modern critics view this as a mistake, and attribute the play to Middleton, who also wrote The Changeling, Women Beware Women and A Game At Chess.
The play was long viewed as the product of a demented or diseased mind. In the nineteenth century, William Archer wrote in The Old Drama & The New, “I will only ask whether such monstrous melodrama as Revengers Tragedy, with its hideous sexuality and its raging lust for blood, can be said to belong to civilised literature at all? I say it is a product either of sheer barbarism, or of some pitiable psychopathic perversion.”
Taken from the official Revengers Tragedy website at | www.revengerstragedy.com
In the summer and autumn of 2002, Revengers Tragedy was screened at various film festivals including the Cambridge Festival, the Locarno Film Festival, the Edinburgh Film Festival, the Chichester Film Festival, The Cairo Film Festival, the Hamburg Film Festival, the Black Nights Film Festival, Estonia, the Leeds International Film Festival, the Cork Film Festival, the Utopiales International Festival, Nantes, France, and at the Birmingham Film and TV Festival, where it won the 2002 award for Best British Film. The film received its official premiere at Liverpool’s Fact Centre | (www.fact.co.uk), on 21st February 2003, and went on UK release on 14th February 2003.
“….Izzard, a comedian-turned-actor whose dramatic talent has been steadily evolving, has a strong screen presence….” Screendaily.com
“….Lussurioso, played very nicely by Eddie Izzard, upstaging everyone with his sly humour and easy, relaxed command of the language. Izzard has a definite screen presence.” Guardian Unlimited
“....the rhubarbing supporting players hardly deserve to be in the same picture as Eccleston’s energised, razor-sharp delivery and Eddie Izzard’s rich portrayal of whimsically decadent son-and-heir….” Time Out
“Eddie Izzard impresses as his scheming son and is the best thing in this mind-boggling cast….” Daily Expres