Under the visionary direction of Richard Murphet, Melbourne Shakespeare Company is back in the spotlight with an audacious reimagining of Shakespeare’s timeless masterpiece, ‘Julius Caesar’.
Following the resounding success of their sold-out production of ‘King Lear’ in 2021, the company returns to the renowned fortyfivedownstairs venue, promising a contemporary spin on this iconic political thriller.
The production boasts a remarkable ensemble of talent, ensuring that ‘Julius Caesar’ will captivate audiences with its gripping narrative and resonant characters. The play unfolds against the backdrop of political intrigue, portraying the story of a divisive leader whose insatiable thirst for power threatens the republic, ultimately culminating in his assassination. Civil strife ensues, and from the tumultuous chaos, a new leader must emerge to fill the void.
However, as Murphet astutely reflects, “Macbeth dies at the end of Macbeth. Hamlet dies at the end of Hamlet. King Lear dies at the end of King Lear. Those plays are about those figures. Not Julius Caesar.”
It’s this very death that serves as the catalyst for the riveting action in this enthralling political drama.
The audience is invited to embrace the eloquent poetry, high-stakes drama, and enduring characters that have solidified this play as one of Shakespeare’s masterpieces.
Melbourne Shakespeare Company, renowned for its pioneering and inclusive casting choices, is set to push boundaries once again with this production. Natasha Herbert, a matriarch of the Australian stage (known for her roles in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ and ‘Cloudstreet’), takes on the pivotal role of Marc Antony. Alongside her, a formidable ensemble including Hunter Perske as Julius Caesar, Matthew Connell as Brutus, Mark Wilson as Cassius, and Aisha Aidara as Portia will bring depth and nuance to their characters.
A team of visionary designers, including Tony-nominated Production Designer Dale Ferguson, pioneering Lighting Designer Kris Chainey, and emerging star Grace Ferguson for composition and sound design, will collaborate to transform fortyfivedownstairs into an immersive cityscape. The concept is set to transport audiences into a world where they are not merely spectators but participants, feeling the ebb and flow of the crowd’s energy as they cheer and taunt, fully engrossed in the unfolding drama.
‘Julius Caesar’ performs until Sunday, 3 September 2023, and is a must-see for those eager to witness Australia’s finest performers under the visionary guidance of accomplished theatre-makers.
For ticketing and production information, visit Melbourne Theatre Company’s website.