Derek Jarman's EDWARD II is calculated to offend, staging Christopher Marlowe's 16th-century tragedy in a timeless limbo and emphasizing the work's sexual themes if not to the exclusion, then very much to the diminution, of all others.
Edward II (Steven Waddington), King of England, is neglecting his marital duties for a robust affair with boyhood companion Piers Gaveston (Andrew Tiernan), son of a knight. Edward's wife, the icily beautiful and ferociously willful Queen Isabella (Tilda Swinton), is hurt, then enraged by his
indifference. His nobles disapprove doubly, on the grounds that the relationship is homosexual and that it disturbs the social order. They a...