buy 20 mg isotretinoin online Wednesday 10th to Saturday 20th June 2009 (11 performances)
Mithi Studio Theatre, 41 Monkgate
Charles Hutchinson in the The Press wrote:
SHAKESPEARE’S power play will always resonate with the political times.
Latterly the theme of toppling a dictator for the greater good of the people has had its parallel in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, while the issue of trust in our leaders is topical anew, given both the expenses debacle in Westminster and the stymied revolt against Gordon Brown.
Directing a York Shakespeare Project production for the first time, former University of York masters degree student Mark Smith does not make a direct link between Roman times and today’s political machinations. Togas and leggings are the dress code and swords the weapon of choice, in contrast to the suits, mobile phones and crackle of gunfire of David Farr’s modish touring show for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Northallerton five years ago.
Smith lets the modern context emerge naturally rather than forcing anything extraneous on to Shakespeare’s psychological thriller, while also calling upon the supernatural and the natural elements (the thunderstorm) to play their timeless part. His press release made reference to giving a ‘thrilling modern edge’ to Shakespeare’s study of ambition, misguided idealism and murder. In truth, from costume design to heavy-weighted delivery of the dialogue, from shadow-play to close-quarter combat, his Julius Caesar is rather more old-fashioned than that. Only the storm scene, with its imagery of speeding clouds, is served by today’s technology.
The focus is on the text, all that plotting, argument, intrigue and persuasion, as a faction of Rome’s elite resolve to depose the ageing Caesar (a venerable Robin Sangar) before he declares himself king. Smith and his designer, Ele Slade, choose to match the stifling atmosphere by cramping the actors into a thin strip in front of metallic-coloured screens on wheels. This leads to a flat, linear presentation, and to declamatory acting, sometimes facing away from the audience, until the screens are pulled away at last for Caesar’ moment of crowning glory, cut short by his assassins.
Maurice Crichton, making his first stage appearance since his schooldays more than 20 years ago, is prone to dipping his head too much but his Brutus has weight, intelligence, honour and humanity, and Crichton will surely return for more YSP shows. Robbie Swale’s Mark Antony is the stand-out principal, the set-piece speeches performed with passion, modulation and conviction, his movement and sense of purpose assured. Elaine Innes’s Calphurnia is the pick of the female performances while Ben Lund’s Lucius shows plenty of youthful promise.
In conclusion, Smith’s Julius Caesar, the 15th YSP community production, is robust and slow-burning rather than exciting or dangerous, its dogs of war muzzled.
|Flavius, a Tribune||Mark Burghagen|
|Murellus, a Tribune||Josh Littlewood|
|A Cobbler||Alan Flower|
|A Carpenter||John Hasselgreen|
|Julius Caesar||Robin Sanger|
|Calphurnia, his wife||Elaine Innes|
|A Soothsayer||Margaret Hillier|
|Marcus Brutus||Maurice Crichton|
|Portia, his wife||Jenny Carr|
|Lucius, his servant||Ben Lund|
|Mark Antony||Robbie Swale|
|Caius Cassius||Dermot Hill|
|Decius Brutus||Ben Sawyer|
|Metellus Cimber||Brian Sharp|
|Popilius Lena||Christopher Laishley|
|Servant to Caesar||Krystal Evans|
|Servant to Antony||Esme Kaim|
|Servant to Octavius||Jane Collis|
|Plebeians||Julia Atkinson and members of the cast|
|Cinna, the Poet||Neil Forster|
|Octavius Caesar||Christopher Laishley|
|Young Cato||Josh Littlewood|
|Pindarus, Cassius’ bondman||Neil Forster|
|Titinius, an Officer in Cassius’s army||Mark Burghagen|
|A Poet||Jeremy Muldowney|
|A messenger||Jane Collis|
|Lighting||Fran Olley, Charlie Taylor,|
|with thanks to Fergus McGlynn|
|Sound||Mark Smith, Ben Jacobson|
|Set Construction||Jamie Searle, Lee Maloney, Ben Jacobson|
|Costume||Ele Slade, Sally Mitcham, Jane Collis|
|Stage Manager||Rosalind Campbell|
|Assistant Stage Managers||Krystal Evans, Andy Love|
|Textual Advisor||Julia Atkinson|
|Fight Choreography||Paul Toy|
|Publicity and Programme||Brian Sharp, Susie Murray|
|Front of House||Sally Mitcham, Christina Nobbs, Janet Looker, Anna Sharp, Raymond Baggaley|