Thursday, 28 February 2013

Julius Caesar, Donmar

My first trip back to a real theatre was a trip to see a play I'd heard reviewed on Front Row before Christmas. I didn't know it was happening and I don't know if I'd be interested in it if I hadn't heard a clip of dialogue on the radio and thought 'is that Harriet Walter?' I'm a big fan of Harriet, she's got amazing stage presence. Not many women do it for me on stage but she totally does, as does Fiona Shaw and Nancy Carroll.
An all female cast of Julius Caesar? I haven't seen many gimmicky plays before but I'd seen Julius Caesar twice (and reviewed it twice I think!) It was terrible and boring both times. I thought perhaps if I saw someone I really like (and trust) as an actor doing it I might actually like it.
And I did! It was the first time I'd seen the language really well done, the actors were all good enough that they knew how to deliver Shakespeare! Harriet was great as Brutus and Cush Jumbo (who I once saw as a fab Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion and more recently saw doing a good comic turn at the National in She Stoops to Conquer) was an amazing Mark Anthony, totally fab.
The concept was still a bit iffy at times and I wasn't sure about the rock numbers- though at least they passed the battle scenes without the usual boredom when men do it!
Good actors make good Shakespeare.

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