Michael and I went to see Julius Caeser at the ADC Theatre last night by the European Theatre Group. I dozed through much of the first act, after only four hours sleep last night, so I didn’t see much of the stage action (I didn’t miss Mark Antony’s topless scenes though). Marc Antony (Rob Carter) delivered some great speeches and his passion was very powerful, and the end of the first act was dramatic after his excellent ‘Lend me your ears’ speech and an on-stage rape. The cast all looked muted when they came back for the short second half and looked like they had run out of steam, so the death scenes were a bit limp. Rob Carter looked a bit bored. Edward Rice is a good actor (e.g. in Nineteen Eighty Four) but wasn’t at all right for the character of Marcus Brutus.
From the web site:
Pompey defeated, Julius Caesar returns to Rome, flushed with triumph. But Rome has changed, and talk of assassination lurks behind every column… Cambridge University European Theatre Group’s 50th anniversary production of one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies brings the political intrigue of Ancient Rome into a modern setting in which our barbarism and ambition are revealed in the relationships with those closest to us. Morality is forgotten in the lust for power, love is cast viciously aside, and the true nature of honour is finally realised.
ETG was founded in 1957 by a group of students including Sir Derek Jacobi and Sir Ian McKellen, who toured Europe in a fruit van.