Previewed 8 August 2012, Opened 15 August 2012, Closed 15 September 2012 at the Noel Coward Theatre in London
The Royal Shakespeare Company present's William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar in London directed by Gregory Doran in an African setting for a strictly limited season.
Shakespeare's great political thriller, Julius Caesar, relocated to modern Africa, is a vivid story about a struggle for democracy and a love story between two men united by an explosive act of political violence. The tyrant Caesar is about to seize power when Cassius persuades Brutus to join the conspirators plotting an assassination.
The cast for the RSC's Julius Caesar in London features Ray Fearon as 'Mark Antony' with Paterson Joseph as 'Brutus', Jeffery Kissoon as 'Julius Caesar', Cyril Nri as 'Cassius' and Adjoa Andoh as 'Portia'. It is directed by Gregory Doran with designs by Michael Vale, lighting by Vince Herbert, music by Akintayo Akinbode, sound by Jonathan Ruddick and flights by Kev McCurdy. This production comes into London's West End following a season in June 2012 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. During rehearsals this production was filmed, both on location in London and during two performances at Stratford, and was broadcast on BBC Four on 24 June 2012 as part of the BBC's Shakespeare season for the Cultural Olympiad. This production is immediately followed at the Noel Coward Theatre from 22 September to 27 October 2012 by the RSC's production of Much Ado About Nothing. Gregory Doran's recent West End theatre directing credits include Written On The Heart (Duchess Theatre 2012), Twelfth Night starring Richard Wilson (Duke of York's Theatre 2009), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Novello Theatre 2009), Hamlet starring David Tennant and Patrick Stewart (Novello Theatre 2008), Antony and Cleopatra starring Patrick Stewart and Harriet Walter (Novello Theatre 2007) and All's Well That Ends Well starring Dame Judi Dench (Gielgud Theatre 2004).
"The big, bold and brilliant idea of Gregory Doran's powerful production is to relocate politically unstable Imperial Rome to a modern African dictatorship, and it brings an often chilly play to explosive and dangerous life... Until the assassination Doran's production, staged without an interval, grips like a thriller and is filled with strong performances. Ray Fearon's muscular and mighty Mark Antony looks like a sporting hero and sounds like an evangelical preacher, and when he effortlessly, almost comically, turns the mob at Caesar's funeral against the conspirators, he turns us, too. After all this tension, the final scenes charting the various war factions flag, but that's the fault of the play, and that aside, this is as thrilling a production as you could hope to see." The Mail on Sunday
"Gregory Doran transports us exhilaratingly to a modern African state ruled over by one J Caesar, a typical big man of African power politics. The set is a crumbling, monolithic concrete arena, and beyond stands a monstrous bronze statue, arm raised in Romanofascistic salute: dictator kitsch. Jeffery Kissoon's flesh-and-blood Caesar flicks a fly whisk, wears a spotless white tropical suit, a gold necklace, a gold watch and a diamond ring... Ray Fearon's fun-loving, hungover Mark Antony is "given to sports" with amusing literalness, in his white trainers and gym-bunny vest, but evolves before our eyes into a dangerous, bellowing bull of an orator. But it is Brutus and Cassius who dominate this production. Cyril Nri's Cassius is less cold and envious, more sympathetically hot-blooded and anguished than we often see him, while Paterson Joseph's Brutus is quite magnificent, very credibly the noblest Roman of them all... A special mention for the terrific band of musicians, who add so richly to the atmosphere throughout." The Sunday Times
Julius Caesar in London at the Noel Coward Theatre previewed from 8 August 2012, opened on 15 August 2012 and closed on 15 September 2012.