Julian Glover to Return to Bristol Old Vic in Politically Charged JULIUS CAESAR
"There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide"- John Adams
Rehearsals begin for the thrilling political tragedy Julius Caesar, directed by Simon Dormandy, in a follow up to last year's ground-breaking collaboration between Bristol Old Vic and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School's graduating students. Performances will play 9 June-1 July 2017, with press night slated for 14 June.
Building on the brilliant success of King Lear in 2016, Julius Caesar brings together theatrical legends Julian Glover (playing Caesar) and Lynn Farleigh (Calpurnia) in this unique casting initiative, which will see them working alongside the stars of the future to create a gripping vision of inter-generational rivalry and political blood-letting.
With a plot that comes straight from the pages of today's newspapers, charismatic demagogue Julius Caesar, champion of the working man, is riding to power on a tide of rage against elites. As he positions himself for absolute control, and the streets fill with crowds who chant his name, the sons and daughters of Rome's great families know they must act now or bid farewell to the Republic forever. But they are young and the action they take leads to the very opposite of what they intended. As Rome burns and armies clash by night, four hundred years of democracy hang by a thread.
Written in 1599, at a time of deep anxiety surrounding an ageing monarch and concerns over who would claim the throne, Shakespeare's sweeping political tragedy still resonates today with its comment on divisions between the ruling class and the underrepresented masses, and the tensions between the old and the young. No Roman could imagine their ancient democracy overthrown. In the age of Erdogan and Putin, Trump and Le Pen, can we be sure of ours?
Olivier Award-winner Julian Glover has worked continuously on stage and screen since the 1950s. He returns to Bristol where he spent much of his childhood and his early career. His many film roles include a wide range of iconic characters, including General Maximillian Veers in The Empire Strikes Back, the James Bond villain Aristotle Kristatos in For Your Eyes Only, and Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He also played the recurring role of Grand Maester Pycelle in HBO's Game of Thrones until 2016.
He is joined by Bristol-born Lynn Farleigh in the role of Calpurnia. In a career spanning over 50 years, she has worked extensively with the RSC, the Royal Court and the National Theatre. Farleigh is perhaps best known for playing Helen Wycliffe in Wycliffe, playing opposite Patrick Stewart's Lenin in the historical BBC drama Fall of Eagles and appearing in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. More recently, she played regular character Nora White in EastEnders.
Director Simon Dormandy played leading roles with the RSC, Cheek by Jowl, and many other companies before turning to teaching. While Director of Drama at Eton College, his pupils included Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston, director James Dacre and comedians Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton, who he recently directed in Waiting for Godot at the Arcola Theatre. Since January 2013 he has worked as a freelance theatre director, with credits including co-directing his own stage adaptation of the Coen Brothers' film The Hudsucker Proxy, directing the UK premiere of Luce, starring Mel Giedroyc and collaborating with Simon McBurney on The Encounter for Complicite. Upcoming productions include his own adaptation of A Passage to India and Much Ado About Nothing at the Rose, Kingston. He teaches regularly at Shakespeare's Globe.
The cast is completed by John Hartoch as the Soothsayer and graduating students: Afolabi Alli, Freddie Bowerman, RoseAnna Gray, Eleanor House, Chris Jenks, Alice Kerrigan, Sarah Livingstone, Rosy McEwen, Rudolphe Mdlongwa, Ross O'Donnellan, Edward Stone and Harley Viveash.
The creative team also includes graduating students from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School including set designer Sarah Mercade, costume designer Eleanor Bull and sound designer Jessica Edkins.
IF YOU GO:
Press Night: Wednesday 14 June at 7pm
Bristol Old Vic Theatre, King Street
7pm, 1.30pm (Sat mats)
£33.50 - £7.50
Tickets: 0117 987 7877 / www.bristololdvic.org.uk
Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. Under Artistic Director Tom Morris, the historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.
They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.
Over the next 2 years, while the theatre continues to present work, it is simultaneously undergoing a multi-million pound redevelopment project to transform its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, create a new Studio Theatre and open up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time. The project is due to be completed in autumn 2018.
Opened in 1946 by Laurence Olivier as the training arm of the Bristol Old Vic company, it started life in rooms above a vegetable warehouse near Bristol Old Vic's stage door. In the early years the school and the theatre were completely integrated, with students taking part in every aspect of the theatre's productions.
Graduates include: Daniel Day Lewis, Samantha Bond, Naomie Harris, Jeremy Irons, Stephanie Cole, Pete Postlethwaite, Sir Patrick Stewart, Amanda Redman, Miranda Richardson, Tim Pigott-Smith, Greta Scacchi and the director of the RSC Greg Doran.
The school is the premier drama school in the south west, offering conservatoire-level training for students seeking professional careers as actors or in production and technical areas of the theatre, TV, film and radio industry.