Photo credit: http://www.liveforfilms.com/2012/05/31/brilliant-new-rsc-trailer-for-julius-caesar-goes-all-usual-suspects/
Cut and pasted from the RSC Website:
Julius Caesar, Noel Coward Theatre, London
8 August - 15 September 2012
The dictator must be assassinated. But who will replace him?
Shakespeare's great political thriller finds dark contemporary echoes in modern Africa, directed by RSC Artistic Director Designate Gregory Doran.
The company includes Paterson Joseph as Brutus, Cyril Nri as Cassius, Ray Fearon as Mark Antony and Jeffery Kissoon as Caesar.
There is a real wealth of production information on this production here:
You can view the trailer here:
You can buy tickets here:
"He doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus", Cassius, Act 1, Scene 2, Julius Caesar.
I saw this on Saturday 18 August.
Firstly, I thought the relocation of the story to Africa, and a contemporary modern Africa, worked really well. The production felt authentic, modern, real, "now". For me anyway, it added to the potency of the piece. The story is, of course, something that is happening in many places across the world, right here, right now, including in Africa.
I loved the live band and the live music who were on stage early to provide a prologue to the play. I thought they did an excellent job at setting the scene and creating the right mood. I really appreciate these prologues that sometimes occur before the formal start of a play, but I wish theatre companies would give you an advance warning so that if you want to come and see them you know they are on and you can get there a few minutes early!
The assassination scene in this Julius Caesar is one of the most powerful, brutal and moving assassination scenes I have ever seen in Julius Caesar (and I have seen my fair share!). It really brought home to me the severity, and the sheer horror, of the crime that the conspirators had committed, and it served to reinforce my firm belief that murder in cold blood can never be justified (this is something I have been thinking about recently!).
Photo credit: http://www.stratfordobserver.co.uk/2012/06/07/entertainment-African-Julius-Caesar-at-RSC-41743.html
Paterson Joseph as Brutus
Photo credit: http://www.radiotimes.com/live/world-shakespeare-festival.html
Whilst this is by no means the best Julius Caesar I have seen, it is unique because of its African setting and its all-Black cast. It also features two towering tour de forces, from Paterson Joseph as Brutus and Ray Fearon as Mark Antony, both of whom give powerful mind-blowing performances. I have been a Paterson Joseph fan for many many moons, but I became a Ray Fearon fan overnight! On the basis of these two towering performances, I would say that this production is a must-see. I am highly recommending it - go and see it now!
Ray Fearon as Mark Antony
Photo credit: http://thegoodreview.co.uk/2012/06/julius-caesar-royal-shakespeare-theatre-rsc/
Finally, something that the RSC did on the night that I, as a regular theatregoer, really appreciated and valued. I had bought a cheaper seat in the Grand Circle as I prefer to see a larger range of plays by going for the cheapest seats in the House, rather than a much more select range of plays by going for the most expensive seats in the House. When I got there, as it was a quiet night, I found that the RSC had decided to close the Grand Circle and they had upgraded me to the Stalls. I thought this a brilliant idea and I really appreciated it. Much better for both the actors and the audience. I only wish more London theatres operated a similar policy!