Last week the husband and I motored to Stratford, to see the new RSC production of Julius Caesar directed by Lucy Bailey. I had written an essay for the programme, and asked for two tickets as part of the fee (it actually makes you go!).
Was it any good. Well, I guess I'm a bit biased -- but yes it was (some wonderful visuals and a brilliant Mark Antony in the shape of Darrell D'Silva, and some murders that really had me on the edge of my seat); with just a few 'buts'.
The trouble with any production of Julius Caesar is that you can't ever quite tell whether the problems with it are the fault of the play or of the production. I suspect that I'm being very unsophisticated here, but I've never found the last two acts of the play, where we see the assassins of Caesar themselves get slaughtered (by their own hands), at all gripping. After Cinna the poet has been killed, I find I couldn't care very much about how the noblest Roman of them all actually dies. Basically I know what happens at the battle of Philippi, but don't feel too curious about exactly how Shakespeare presents it.
But then last week there was the question of whether this Julius Caesar (Greg Hicks) had intentionally, or unintentionally, tripped on his toga just before his assassination.