Julius Caesar

Reporter: Charlotte Marshall, first published Thu 03 Jul 2014 12:20
George Irving in Julius Caesar at Shakespeare's Globe (Photo: Manuel Harlan)George Irving in Julius Caesar at Shakespeare's Globe (Photo: Manuel Harlan)/servlet/file/store5/item232608/version1/fileservice770/232608_770_preview.jpg

What’s it all about?

This is Shakespeare at his very best taking on the world of politics. Conspiracies, murder, manipulations and brutal battles are packed into Dominic Dromgoole’s compelling production for Shakespeare’s Globe that builds tension with an escalating sense of foreboding.

But while the tale of the murder of Julius Caesar and its bloody fall out undoubtedly makes for a serious, dense and dark night at the theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe’s stunning setting and immersive staging ensures you are made to feel like a genuine Roman Citizen as the actors address their thrilling speeches to us, the audience, and a scattering of wit peppers proceedings to keep you on your toes.

Who’s in it?

As you enter the auditorium to be met by rowdy chants of “Caesar” and raucous celebrations, you demand an actor who can ensure you believe in Caesar’s powerful influence with just a glaring look and royal wave; a charismatic George Irving does just that. Buoyed by the confidence of triumph in war, Irving plays the nation’s star with an edge of likeable swagger and just a sliver of arrogance. Katy Stephens is excellent as his fearful wife, balancing the role with that of a citizen who later takes revenge for Caesar’s death in the most grotesque of fashions, quenching the Globe audiences’ clear thirst for some of the red stuff.

Dromgoole has collected together an impressive set of conspirators, from Tom McKay’s terrifyingly manipulative Brutus to Christopher Logan’s scathing Casca who has the audience in stitches with his dry delivery of a wealth of bitchy put downs. As the group of eight embark on their pledge to snuff out Caesar’s power for fear his popularity is threatening Rome’s Republic, Dromgoole paints them as more panicked amateurs than devious masterminds, making the act all the more terrifying.

What should I look out for?

Rising star Luke Thompson, who returns to the venue following his acclaimed appearance in last year’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and once again proves himself as an actor to watch in the role of Mark Anthony. Expect festival spirit, plenty of blood, laddish jeering and a surprise appearance from a dead stag.

In a nutshell?

Revel in political manipulation and bloody revenge this summer in Dominic Dromgoole’s classic but thrilling take on Shakespeare’s tense drama.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@grahamsalisbury Superb Julius Caesar at @The_Globe last night. Literally left with Caesar's blood on my hands!

@ChorusGirlDays Fantastic show of Julius Caesar at The Globe theatre this evening. Gripping throughout. Highly recommend! #juliuscaesar #theglobe

Will I like it?

With London enjoying beautiful clear skies, there is no excuse not to head down to Shakespeare’s Globe one balmy summer’s evening this season. If you’re after a political thriller with plenty of blood, revenge and, for my money, the best curtain call jig I’ve ever seen by the theatre, then this is for you.

Julius Caesar is playing until 11 October. You can book tickets through the Shakespeare’s Globe website.