Last Chance To See IMPERIUM In The West End
There are only 5 weeks remaining to see IMPERIUM (I: Conspirator and II: Dictator) which must end its strictly limited run at the West End's Gielgud Theatre on 8 September 2018. Presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and Playful Productions, this historical two-part thriller opened in the West End to major critical acclaim last month with Richard McCabe's tour de force performance as Cicero drawing particular attention.
Robert Harris' best-selling Cicero trilogy is adapted for the stage by Mike Poulton as six one-act plays, presented in two performances, each with two intervals. Directed by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, IMPERIUM transferred to London following a sold-out run at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Adding to the widespread critical praise and positive audience response, IMPERIUM has also proved popular with historians, politicians and political commentators, who have been quick to draw parallels between the cut-throat world of Roman politics and the chaos of Westminster today. Taking to social media: Classicist Mary Beard said "Brilliantly funny, in the spirit of Cicero himself"; political commentator Sir Anthony Seldon described the play as "Deep, dark, dangerous, it builds to a mesmerising climax"; and broadcaster Andrew Neil said "Magnificent performances. Don't miss it."
The cast includes Nicholas Armfield, Nicholas Boulton, Tom Brownlee, Guy Burgess, Daniel Burke, Jade Croot, Joe Dixon, John Dougall, Michael Grady-Hall, Peter de Jersey, Oliver Johnstone, Paul Kemp, Joseph Kloska, Patrick Knowles, Andrew Langtree, Richard McCabe, Hywel Morgan, David Nicolle, Siobhan Redmond, Patrick Romer, Christopher Saul, Eloise Secker, Simon Thorp, Scott Westwood and Alisha Williams.
Told through the watchful eyes of Cicero's loyal secretary, IMPERIUM I: Conspirator reveals how the great orator's early success unwittingly paves the way for a brutal and bloody end to the Republic.
With Rome in chaos at the beginning of IMPERIUM II: Dictator, Cicero must use all his brilliance to restore the power of the Senate from the unruly civic mob and their would-be Emperor: one Julius Caesar.
International best-selling novelist Robert Harris is known for historical fiction. In addition to his Cicero trilogy, his books include Fatherland, Archangel, Enigma, Pompeii and The Ghost, which have received major screen adaptations. His latest thriller Munich based on the 1938 Munich agreement, was published in September 2017. Harris is a former BBC correspondent and columnist for The Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph.
RSC Associate Artist Mike Poulton is a playwright, and adapter of classical plays including works by Chekhov, Ibsen, Schiller, Euripides, and Strindberg. For the RSC, Poulton's previous adaptations have included St Erkenwald, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Malory's Morte d'Arthur, and Hilary Mantel's best-selling novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies.
Gregory Doran has been Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company since 2012. His huge variety of directorial projects has not only included over 27 major Shakespeare productions, he also directed a Jacobean season of plays which won an Olivier Award in 2002, as well as classics from the UK and abroad. In 2013 he instigated the RSC's "Live From Stratford-upon-Avon", a new programme to screen productions live from Shakespeare's home town, including the free streaming of the productions straight to UK schools. Gregory delivered the Richard Dimbleby Lecture for the BBC in 2016.
This theatrical event, co-produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Playful Productions, follows their last collaboration on Mike Poulton's stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies which enjoyed success at the Aldwych Theatre after its Stratford run and transferred to Broadway in 2015.