Et tu, Nick Hytner? In the last year we've already seen Julius Caesar multiple times, in productions at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre (inaugurating the new regime of artistic director Robert Hastie there), in a temporary space at King's Cross for a transfer of the Donmar's all-female Phyllida Lloyd staging, as part of Ivo van Hove's Dutch Roman Tragedies at the Barbican, and as part of the RSC's recent Rome season, first at Stratford, then again at the Barbican. Read more
The second production in the inaugural season at the Bridge Theatre is William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, directed by the theatre’s visionary Nicholas Hytner.
The Bard’s tragedy is part of a series of plays based on Roman history, along with Antony and Cleopatra and Coriolanus, and charts Caesar’s triumphant return to Rome, the conspiracy to take him down, and the civil war sparked by his assassination.
The title character is played by David Calder (The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide…, Hampstead Theatre) alongside Ben Whishaw as Brutus, Michelle Fairley as Cassius and David Morrissey as Mark Anthony.
Ben Whishaw has most recently appeared on stage in Against at the Almeida, following his 2015 performance in Bakkhai at the North London venue. His other roles include Mojo at the Harold Pinter, Peter and Alice at the Noel Coward and Some Trace of Her for the National Theatre.
David Calder’s previous theatre credits include The Audience, as Winston Churchill, in 2015 and a revival of The Beggar’s Opera in the West End in 1968. He is well-known for his screen roles in The Mummy, Rush and James Bond film The World is Not Enough.
Michelle Fairley last appeared on stage in John Tiffany’s production of Road at the Royal Court Theatre, and her other credits include Splendour at the Donmar, Remembrance Day at the Royal Court and Dancing at Lughnasa at The Old Vic.
The production is the second to be staged at the Bridge following Young Marx, and showcases the theatre’s versatility, being staged in a promenade format. Audiences are able to experience the show in two different ways: in-the-round, looking onto the arena from the theatre’s seats, or in amongst the action as part of the crowd welcoming Caesar back to Rome, the congress conspiring to bring him down, or in the midst of the civil war that erupts following his assassination.
Caesar returns in triumph to Rome and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat's popularity, the educated élite conspire to bring him down. After his assassination, civil war erupts on the streets of the capital.