Across 25 centuries comes a harsh cry: not of war, not from savage male throats but from a swaying, chanting, defiant chorus of young women demanding, in the name of the gods and of humanity, freedom, asylum and choice.
If you need relief from the current outbreak of extreme social primness about male behaviour, you’re going to love the bit with Clive Francis, as the elderly Mr Thwaites, going batshit-bonkers on pickled walnut Martinis when tempted by the generous Teutonic cleavage of Lucy Cohu’s Miss Kugelmann.
Even ruthless, psychotic gangsters have to fall in love sometimes. And Rodelinda is all about what happens when the people at the top of the cruel power pyramid have got their minds on other things, like other people’s faithful wives, as well as their crime kingdoms.
Sometimes a character exits to join another play, or comes in from a scene you will only see in the next show. The final part begins half an hour before the first and ends after them all, providing prequel and sequel by half an hour.
Bertie Carvel’s Murdoch is remarkable, adopting a forward-pressing, tense keen hunch (almost his Trunchbull hunch) denoting a young(ish) man in a hurry, and in a temper with the hidebound old country which has snubbed him often enough.