Julius Caesar - Barbican Theatre 2005
Opened 20 Apr 05
Written: by William Shakespeare, adapted by Deborah Warner
Directed: Deborah Warner
Produced:: BITE / Theatre National du Chaillot, Paris; Teatro Espanol, Madrid; Grand Thwatre de la Ville, Luxembourg / In association with The Young Vic Theatre Company
Cast: John Shrapnel (Julius Caesar), Simon Russell Beale (Cassius); Anton Lesser (Brutus); Ralph Fiennes (Antony) ; Fiona Shaw (Portia)
What the critics had to say.....
CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Though the staging lasts almost three-and-a-half hours, it never drags, and again and again offers illuminating insights into both the play's characters and its politics.... A play I have always regarded as one of Shakespeare's most dull suddenly seems like one of his very greatest." ALASTAIR MACAULAY for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, " Part of the problem is to do with projection. The production, which is strikingly designed by Chloe Obolensky and Tom Pye, spreads handsomely across the breadth of the Barbican stage but, in its quiet scenes, only Shaw knows how to let her voice cast a spell within this theatre's difficult acoustics....I was not absorbed here." THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Ralph Fiennes fails to make his Mark in a Caesar lacking elemental savagery." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "If you think that a production of a classical play should offer not an A-level essay in 3-D but a fresh, vibrant vision of a piece, then Deborah Warner's stunning staging of Julius Caesar at the Barbican is the answer to your dreams. If you think that the job of a theatre director is to provide actors with an environment where they feel safe enough to fly out of their comfort zones, then this Caesar is designed for you." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Deborah Warner has not solved the play's structural problems or risen above her setting's rootless modernity. The best that one can say is that she has recruited a very fine company, worked in detail on the language, and buried for ever the idea that Brutus represents some ideal of heroic liberalism." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, " Warner has given us an epic yet intimate Caesar, which, though sometimes over-elaborately spoken, is richer than any I recall."