Review: Julius Caesar
All knives were out in Article 19’s production of Julius Caesar
I don’t doubt that the title ‘Julius Caesar’ leaves most of us with a very bloody image. Article 19 did not let me down when this image became reality. One of Shakespeare’s more political tragedies, Julius Caesar follows the leader’s respected uprising and murder.
Of course Shakespeare’s plots are never this straightforward and the climatic twists of this plot were given in the form of a mystical Soothsayer (a bewitching Charis Jardim) as well as a rather disturbing epiphanic dream from Caesar’s wife Calpurnia (the sturdy Catherine Butler). Caesar (played by a righteous Ben Firth) succumbs to death at the hands of his entourage, a band of testosterone-fuelled talent!
The main conspirator of the cause against Caesar is Cassius, played by Jacob Lovick. His portrayal was seemingly quiet yet vindictive and worked well to manipulate the honourable Brutus. Brutus, played by a charismatic Calum Witney, drew me in completely with his command of the stage.
As his concerned wife, Hannah Fretwell was completely winning in her act of despair in an attempt to show Brutus the lack of communication in their relationship. Jake Williams must receive credit in what appeared to be fantastic, focused direction over a wonderful cast. Unfortunately my view was restricted at various moments due to the staging style. Nonetheless the cast did well to master it in the play’s three and half hour duration!
Most notably I must commend Matthew McConnell and Jordan Chilvers. McConnell as one of the conspirators was captivating in his nervous yet maddened pacing. Whereas Chilvers brought light comic relief to the tragedy through his slow-witted portrayal of Lucius. Also the enchanting rhythmic music created by Nick Charlesworth worked to increase the various climaxes of the plot. All involved show the high standards of Guild drama and this production really proved it was a lot more than totally just stabbing Caesar!