Maybe there was a time when Shakespeare's bloodiest play could be dismissed as youthful excess bordering on black comedy, but in an era that has given us Bosnia, Rwanda and Abu Musab alZarqawi, it unfortunately resembles all too clearly the world we live in.
Still, there was just one moment in this astonishing saga of murder and mutilation - the grotesque scene in which Titus, his brother and son squabble over which of them will be allowed to cut his own hand off - when I was reminded of those bizarre Japanese TV game shows beloved of Chris Tarrant.
For the most striking thing about Yukio Ninagawa's production is that it brings something from the Japanese temperament, a nervous excitability or emotional upfrontness, that no British company could possibly get away with.
To put it bluntly, there's an awful lot of shouting.
Though it might take a moment to adjust to it, it suits the material to exhilarating effect. So the answer to the obvious question - what is three-and-a-half hours of Shakespeare in Japanese like? - is that it's a roller-coaster ride.
This is the play in which the violence is so extreme that audience members regularly pass out. But Ninagawa spares us literal horror through stylisation.
Bleeding stumps are represented by red fabric, while severed heads and limbs are abstract rather than naturalistic.
The mayhem is staged, ironically, in a setting of purest white, the abstract architectural set looking like giant folded cardboard with a huge sculpture of the wolf suckling Romulus and Remus.
The stage is linked to the auditorium by steps and the aisles are used for entrances and exits.
It crossed my mind that this whiteness might stand for normality in contrast to the physical and moral blackness of Aaron, the play's arch villain and chief plotter, of which much is made in the play's racist subtext. Shun Oguri makes him impossibly beautiful, androgynous and charismatic - one of the production's magnetic performances.
Kotaro Yoshida's in the title role is another. It grows in depth and strangeness as Titus's reason gives way under the weight of grief piled upon grief, taking us into uncharted psychological territory and revealing Titus as a precurssor of Lear.
* Running time: Two hours, 30 minutes (in Japanese, with screened English text). Until June 24.