Catherine McClements stars as the one Queen to rule them all in this new production by Bell Shakespeare
When you think power couples, you think Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Kim and Kanye. Maybe Rihanna and Drake (well, in Drake’s dreams). Get ready to add Antony and Cleopatra to your list. This was a love for the ages, and Shakespeare turned the dramatic excess of the couple up to 100: in his play their love is passionate, tumultuous, and all-consuming.
Ever since Mark Antony fell for Queen Cleo, he’s been neglecting his high-ranking soldierly duties, and it’s not long before he’s torn between love and duty. Expect a lot of fighting, a little comedy, and a healthy share of romance. Plus, Cleopatra is one of the more complex women in the Shakespearean canon – there’s no swooning here – and Bell Shakespeare artistic director Peter Evans, at the helm of this production, has gender-swapped a few of the supporting roles to give more women stage time, which will balance out the abundance of machismo that can overwhelm the play.
Stage and screen favourite Catherine McClements (Water Rats, Wentworth, Rake) will take on Cleopatra, and Johnny Carr – who starred with McClements in The Events at Belvoir in 2016 – is playing Mark Antony. The cast also features Ray Chong Nee, Lucy Goleby, Ursula Mills, Zindzi Okenyo, Gareth Reeves, and Jo Turner.