Production Julius Caesar
Venue: The Bridge Theatre
Soothsayer: Beware the Ides of March.
Caesar: He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.
The soothsayer stood next to us. We could see him, as well as hear him, as he strained to be heard. Someone remarked that it was Tuesday 13th March, so we were almost there, to the day. Caesar had just entered, red-capped, leather-jacket-clad, Trump-like, victorious, and, like all of us in the crowd, was unwilling to stop to listen to a lone voice.
Nicolas Hytner’s new production of Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre absorbed us from the start. Sixth Form students and teachers entered the standing area and found themselves in a rock concert - ‘Eye of the Tiger’ played out. Mark Antony took the microphone and encouraged us to welcome Caesar. We bought red ‘CAESAR’ caps and within a few more beats of the drum found ourselves immersed in the concert, the rally.
The script had been cut to include the essential exchanges and the production moved between scenes smartly. We were brushed aside by actors moving past and, at times, the whole standing audience parted or moved in a wave. Apart from this experience being novel and fun, it provided an excellent example of immersive theatre and students took away valuable ideas about how directors and stage managers can have such an impact.
This was an excellent trip to see a fresh production of Julius Caesar. This play is well worth seeing and not only for the rock-concert opening and stellar cast.