Julius Caesar, Theatre Royal, Norwich. October 2012.
Trips to the theatre continue apace at present but for once this one didn't need a long trip to and from London.
Mr Norfolkbookworm and I had a night out in Norwich for this play, our first Shakespeare play from the RSC.
It was an innovative performance, rather than being in either Roman garb or Tudor/Stuart garb the play had been transported to vaguely contemporary Africa. The language hadn't been updated at all but the dress and set could have been anywhere in Africa. Also in addition to tuning the ear to Shakespeare's language the audience had to also tune to an African-speaking-English accent too.
I enjoyed the play, but if I am honest nowhere near as much as I've enjoyed those I've seen at The Globe. I have a feeling that I am a bit of a traditionalist with my Shakespeare and that for me seeing it performed in a setting and manner as it was written adds something to each play
The actors were very good and in a way the play did transfer very well to the new setting, I liked the way the musicians were integral to staging. The costumes were very effective in showing who was who and what side they were on - something that can become confusing in a political intrigue play. However at times I found myself almost giggling as the staging and music just kept making me remember the 1970s film version of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Another thing I learnt at this evening was that attending a serious and long play like this after a full and intense day at work was incredibly draining. Comedy and musicals are one thing but almost 3 hours of Shakespeare was a challenge.
I can't say that I won't seek out other RSC performances, but I know that for now my priority will be for those being staged at or by The Globe.