Julius Caesar

Classical theatre

Off-West End

Donmar Warehouse

Until Sat Feb 9 2013

Julius Caesar, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, Donmar Warehouse. Harriet Walter as Brutus (3). Photo by Helen Maybanks.jpg

Harriet Walter (Brutus) © Helen Maybanks

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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I cannot believe people's response to this play. I saw it at the weekend and honestly felt that Michael Grandage must be tearing his hair out, knowing that his incredible Donmar Warehouse has been turned into a venue for cheap, GCSE drama. I found the production embarrassing and gimicky. I have no issue with Phillida Lloyd's desire to hand the play over to women, the problem was that the production was diabolical. I cringed my way through the whole thing, and spent a large amount physically having to put my head in my hands. The play itself, which is amazing, was put to the bottom of the pile of priorities, and it seems that the most important thing was to get as many overly-forced, heavy-handed visual effects in as possible. It's as if the director had no idea that she had 3 phenominally talented female actresses to lead her cast, who would have created something far superior if they were just reading the lines from a script, sat on 3 chairs in the middle of an empty space.


Went to see this on Wednesday and I thought it was fantastic. It was tremendously moving made more so given that the conceit is that the play is being performed by the inmates of a women's prison. The loss of liberties that the play is about is mirrored in the incarceration of the players. Frances Barber and Cush Jumbo were superb but Harriet Walter was fabulous as Brutus. If you can get hold of a ticket I would strongly urge that you go and see this production


I went to JCae this week at Donmar and thoroughly recommend it. Seeing and hearing Shakespeare again without the men in bedsheets was a delight and gave me new insights in the power of this play. If you have seen Twelfth Night with its all male cast then seeing this is will round off your year. So pleased I went to make up my own mind, so should you!