RSC Have A Good Stab At Shakespearean Epic

Julius Caesar, Barbican ★★★★☆

By Holli-Mae Johnson Last edited 10 months ago

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RSC Have A Good Stab At Shakespearean Epic Julius Caesar, Barbican 4

The Royal Shakespeare Company presents Angus Jackson's production of Julius Caesar as part of a season of Shakespeare's Roman plays; a historical epic in which a vain, erratic and ailing dictator is assassinated by the ruling elite. Many among the global population beyond the USA Rust Belt would be happy to see this legendary scenario play out again in our modern age, and there is an inevitable air of political relevance to proceedings.

This blood spattered stab-fest, which required six stage crew to mop up at the interval, is superbly acted with plenty of guts and gusto. The humorous inflections — even at the peak of violence and tension — make this production more of a black comedy than intense high drama, which is accessible for toe-dippers and students and refreshing for the more seasoned Bard-botherers.

Robert Innes Hopkins' imperial, towering columns and senatorial steps create operatic grandeur, and the heady tribal drum and wailing brass of the live musicians punctuate the riot of noise and colour.

Julius Caesar, The Barbican, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS, £10-£75, 24 November-28 January

Last Updated 18 December 2017