Friday, June 27, 2014


Shakespeare's Globe

A first look at Dominic Dromgoole's new Caesar. You won't find a rowdier production – the Lupercalia is in full swing here, with street entertainers noisily working the piazza, and the citizenry in full cry in the yard.
All credit to the company – which includes some familiar Globe faces – for changing the mood from raucous to rapt in an instant.
This is what used to be called “original practices”, with costumes which the first audience on Bankside [1599] would recognise. Plenty of Roman touches, though, especially in the armies. The “pulpit” perhaps the one idea that looks wrong, though I can see why you wouldn't want to do all that from the balcony in front of the musicians' gallery. [Claire van Kampen's music is intriguingly exotic.]
Resourceful doubling from the cast; Will Mannering on fine form as Metellus Cimber and the unfortunate Cinna the Poet, George Irving [spoiler alert] has a slyly significant second coming, and plays a mafia boss of a Caesar, whose bloody demise [the effect enhanced by a rain-dampened forestage] provides plenty of gore for the eager hands of the young conspirators. Tom McKay as Brutus, Joe Jameson as Octavius, and Luke Thompson as Mark Anthony – excellent at rage, less successful in subtlety.
A lively, energetic look at the sharp end of political power.

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