In the programme notes to the 1986 production of The Fair Maid of the West Trevor Nunn described Heywood as ‘an entirely accessible, popular entertainer whose achievements provide a fascinating context for his greater but more obscure contemporaries’. For that production The Fair Maid of the West was rewritten to combine the two parts into a manageable single production and to give a stronger focus to the central figures. It was presented with extraordinary physical gusto, using all the levels and the whole of the Swan auditorium for its exciting chases and sea battles in which the actors swung on ropes over the heads of the delighted audience. The 1991 RSC production of A Woman Killed with Kindness tried to provide a religious motif to explain the motivations of the action. They did so through a curious combination of pagan and Catholic religion which involved genuflection before a Celtic cross and the use of corn dollies and other signifiers of rural superstition. The energetic young fringe group that produced The Honest Whore in 1992 in the auditorium of Raymond’s Revue Bar, a famous strip-club in London’s Soho, dressed the play in the 1950s, a period vaguely representative for youngsters in the 1990s of past repression. The whore was a night-club singer and the opening funeral processed through the auditorium accompanied by music from a live jazz band.
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