Having been the one who abridged Walpole’s five-act semi-Shakespearian play down to a c.45-50 minute running time for this staged reading, I was amazed at the underlying economy of Walpole’s dramatic writing. Those familiar with his Castle of Otranto will no doubt share a sense of that novel’s flat characterization but here his characters are expressive, singular, readily identifiable and distinguishable. We were fortunate to have such good players for Benedict and Martin, bringing out the friars’ dedicated manipulation of a situation they had readily recognized for what it was and then deliberately utilized for their own ends. In lots of ways, it was their show. How brutally gentle Walpole’s anti-Catholic, anti-French, aims were delivered.