Photograph by Manuel Harlan
I have a lot of thoughts about this production – mainly about how damned exciting the theatre can be when a bunch of talented actors and stage professionals get together with the deliberate intention of rabble-rousing, and when they have the extraordinary flexibility of a new theatre at their disposal.
I hope you have a better day than poor old Caesar did! I took the opportunity, when recently in Rome, to wander round his stomping ground – the Forum, the actual Rostrum where Mark Anthony made his famous speech (sadly sans ships’ prows), some of the earliest Republican temples in the city. And I’ve thrown in a contemporaneous portrait of the man himself…
The man himself
Early Republican temples
Well, a bit of a storm blew up this weekend when it emerged that Shakespeare in the Park, a venerable New York institution which has been putting on productions in Central Park since the 1950s, is this year staging Julius Caesar in modern dress with a titular character who is blonde, has an eastern European wife, and (no spoiler to anyone who knows the play) get assassinated.
Donmar Warehouse (King’s Cross Theatre)
This was the first part in a trilogy of Shakespeare plays, not obviously thematically linked as plays but performed in a consistent manner – with an all-female cast headed by Harriet Walter and a linking framing device that all the plays are being performed by a group of female prisoners.