Introducing Julius Caesar

I’m writing this on the train from New York, where I spent the weekend with Arthur Nauzyciel, the French director who will be staging Julius Caesar for us. We were meeting with set, costume and lighting designers, and I think we’ve landed on a wonderful team. Details to follow.

When Arthur landed at JFK he received some exciting news; he has just been appointed Artistic Director of the National Theatre in Orléans, a beautiful city in the Loire Valley. This gives Julius Caesar particular significance, because it’ll be the last independent production he’ll be directing for a while.

As Arthur unfolded his plans for Julius Caesar to his potential designers, I became increasingly excited. Many people have said that it’s a great play for our own time – its subject is regime change, after all, and political uncertainty. But as Arthur points out, that may be too easy and limiting a reading of Shakespeare’s great text, revealing nothing more about our current situation than we already know. Rather he’s interested in what is unfamiliar in the text; its sense of history, of ghosts and night, of the supernatural.

There is often a dreamlike quality to Arthur’s theatre – an ethereal, shifting tone that combines both ancient and modern elements, and which will run counter to the contemporary performance tradition that sets Julius Caesar in modern army fatigues. I agree with Arthur that we go to the theatre not only to see mirrors of ourselves, but to stimulate our fantasy and imagination. I can’t wait to see where this journey leads us, and will keep you posted as our plans for the production develop.

– Gideon Lester

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One Response to Introducing Julius Caesar

  1. madchemist52 says:

    I was reading the bio’s on the actors and one came up blank on Lucius. My group likes to read all the bio’s before we attend any performances. Is this an oversight or is there no bio to tell??

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