Directed by Michael Pigott
Sport for Jove
Bella Vista Farm Park
Season: 17 December – 7 January
Everglades Gardens, Leura
Season: 14 – 29 January
Julius Caesar is Shakespeare's political drama embroiled in the nuances of rhetoric, power and persuasion. Michael Pigott's production speaks well to these themes and draws in an audience into the political deliberation akin to contemporary politics on a global scale that have been difficult even for the most politically indifferent to ignore. Whilst the show's proceedings wouldn't always be abundantly clear to someone who doesn't know the play, Sport for Jove's Shakespeare in the Park setting is always a treat, just make sure to rug up, bring a comfy seat and some nibbles.
The most pertinent adaptation of Shakespeare's play in this production is that the role of Julius Caesar is played by a female rather than male actor. Suzanne Pereira charges forward with the task with great gusto and impressive charisma. If unaware, you wouldn't suspect a gender swap had taken place, however it's important to note in a world with a mammoth gender discrepancy amongst political leaders. In the wake of Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid, it puts a curious spin on things. Megan Drury is eye catching as Cassius and Tony Taylor gives a peculiarly amusing performance as the Soothsayer. In a rare foray away from the director's chair and into the spotlight on stage, we see Damien Ryan playing the formidable role of Brutus. It’s a treat to see him on the other side of the production.
In a country where backstabbing politicians is the norm and rhetoric wreaks more havoc than substance, Shakespeare’s play strikes a chord. Whether this production would engage the average Joe not too keen on politics or theatre – I’m not so sure. However it certainly puts forth some pervasive ideas for consideration by those eager to engage…better yet, under the sunset and the stars.