Saturday, May 12, 2018

Julius Caesar - yet another telling

The Guardian publishes as good a review as anyone would want to read on the Shakespeare play that recently played at the Bridge Theatre in London.  I knew that the play was going to be introduced by a rock concert.  I didn't realize that it would be 10 minutes of rock concert.  Too late to run when I saw that, so I settled in to enjoy the music and the play.

Brexit stage left … Michelle Fairley as Cassius and
David Calder as Julius Caesar in the Bridge theatre production.
Photograph: Manuel Harlan
Usually I count on Rebecca to have seen the show, but knowing she is at a conference in London, Ontario, I think there is no one who might have seen it.

Still I want to say a few words.

I didn't used to like the old plays being brought forward, performed in another century even.  Nor did I like having women play men's parts and vice versa.  A bit of a purist in me.  

I will say that giving up those old feelings and letting that suspension of disbelief take over was overwhelming.  I did read that the critiques didn't really like this play, but ticket sales were sold out -- a wonderful irony given that the play deals with ideological differences between the elite and the populace.

Well, having never used the word populace in a stentence, I back off or maybe back up.

What did I like?
1. I liked the rock concert beginning and wished that Duncan and Alex had been there, popcorn, drinks and candy in hand.  I counted up the number of people in the theatre.  Under 25.  The younger well over 50.
2. Cassius whom I let enter my heart guardedly, stole the show.
3. When the red billowing silk/parachute like fabric covered the audience and then was brought away to reveal a new stage?  Oh, that was a moment to remember.
4. I liked seeing the faces of the people in "the stalls", though who knew they could stand for 2 hours and be part of the play as well.  Fantastic!
5. NT Live brings those exquisite close-ups to us just the right lines.  Oh to the beauty of shots we call the extreme close-up.
6. How about the strobe-lighting, the balloons descending, the assassination scene (chilling?  frightening?).  Guns make me nervous.

I see that the show is replayed in some vicinities on May 16th.  I might see if it comes back here there.


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