GT Stage

Review: Julius Caesar

The original Plastics...

There's something about Shakespeare's Julius Caesar that reminds me of Mean Girls; the story of a popular, if tyrannical, group leader who eventually is brought down by the scheming and betrayal of a group of their friends. The play is a fascinating tale of persuasion, peer pressure and the machinations of the power-hungry.

This production, by theatre group Iris Theatre, uses the setting of St Paul's Church in Covent Garden - commonly known as 'The Actor's Church' and is a promenade production through the church and gardens. The setting is perfect - particularly on a beautiful Summer's evening - and the grandeur of the church particularly suits itself to the scenes in the Roman senate.

The production often misses the mark when it comes to the nuance and poetry of the text - the performers are perhaps overly bombastic at points. On the plus side though, there is a topless wrestling scene, which is rather pleasant to look at.

Some of the production design is a smidgen bewildering - conspirators in Donnie Darko-esque bunny masks, dressed in Cyberdog-esque costumes - which somewhat jars with the idyllic setting of the production. But I'd rather see a brave, if misguided choice like this than a toga-clad traditional production.

So, in summary, if you've ever wondered what would happen if there was a mash-up of Shakespeare, Tina Fey and sinister bunnies, then this is probably the show for you.

GT gives this a: 3/5

Julius Caesar is at St Paul's Church in London's Covent Garden until 26 July. For tickets and further information, please click here.

Words: Luke Morrison

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