Theater: Romans in the Gloamin'

Profane Celts cause scandal on the Thames

Thievery! Strange rites of initiation! Beatings! Class warfare!

This is not a coming attraction for a documentary account of a week in a British public school. It is, rather, a rough synopsis of a lively and incautious new play, The Romans in Britain, whose combination of ancient history, contemporary politics and ageless human indulgence has created Britain's biggest theatrical controversy in a decade. Howard Brenton's below-the-belt pageant, written with profane wit and political passion, is presented under the high-flown auspices of the National Theater, which has been...