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  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.