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Royal Shakespeare Company’s new production of Julius Caesar is directed by Lucy Bailey. It’s an explosive rendition of The Bard’s tale of politics and passion.
Full-on violence is introduced from the start – Romulus and Remus are engaged in an aggressively physical fight to the death. Bailey doesn’t shy away from this bold element of the text, it’s similar in style to her production of Macbeth at the Globe. The play certainly thrilled the audience, who seemed to relish in the gore. Fake blood is used in abundance, in fact some audience members near me were splattered in the stuff!
I am sure the use of film and video will cause a stir with some critics. Moving film was projected onto large rectangular blocks on stage during the show, the vision of designer Bill Dudley (Bailey’s partner). The more frantic crowd sequences are, at times distracting, but on the whole the concept is highly stimulating and gives the stage an added depth and excitement. Julius Caesar is a difficult play to stage, but this production uses the challenges to its advantage.
Julius Caesar continues until 5 February 2011, book tickets here.