Richmond Shakespeare Society to perform revamped Julius Caesar in Twickenham

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By Teddington People | Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 10:37

Richmond Shakespeare Society returns to the stage in Twickenham with its modern retelling of Julius Caesar from Saturday 26th October to Saturday 2nd November.

Here Twickenham People speaks to artsrichmond award-winning director Fiona Smith about the play which is thrillingly retold in modern times.

What attracted you to Julius Caesar?

It’s very much a tale of today, a political thriller set in smoke-filled rooms, TV studios and open public spaces. The current parallels are striking: politicians using slippery rhetoric and the media to influence political opinion; tyrants being toppled and replaced only by chaos, civil war and fresh tyrannies; mobs taking to the streets and killing indiscriminately. You only have to look at the Arab Spring, Syria, Libya and so on and so on. As one of the conspirators says, “this Caesar was a tyrant, sure, but I fear we will have a worst in his place”. President Obama must be thinking that right now. Julius Caesar is all about the high risk stakes involved when a society unleashes the dogs of war.

So you’ve decided to set in modern times and in modern dress?

Yes, there’s not a toga in sight! I think that helps to make the drama even more accessible to today’s audience. Although the modernity of the language leaps out at you, regardless of the era in which you set the play. It’s a very clear, concise and compelling story, with the tension ratcheting up gear by gear until the body-strewn climax.

So it’s an epic story?

Yes, it’s one of the great historical stories. However, at its core, like all great tales, are the individual human beings. In this case, the men and women at the heart of the events that affect the world. In many ways, it’s a very human, domestic story of love and loyalty, and how decent people can end up betraying friends when they think they are in the wrong. There’s also a decent amount of cynical, dark humour, not least in the character of Mark Antony: the original spin doctor!

Fiona Smith won an artsrichmond Swan Award two years ago for "This Story of Yours", produced by RSS, and was nominated again for the director of the Best Production this year.

Tickets can be booked either on 020 8744 0547 or at www.richmondshakespeare.org.uk

‘Julius Caesar’ – Saturday 26th October to Saturday 2nd November 2013

Produced by RSS (the Richmond Shakespeare Society)

At the Mary Wallace Theatre, The Embankment, Twickenham, TW1 3DU

All performances at 7.45pm, except 4.00pm on Sunday 27th October

Plus additional matinee on Saturday 2nd November at 3.00, with no performance on Wednesday 30th October

Box Office: 020 8744 0547 / www.richmondshakespeare.org.uk

Tickets from £10 for members & £12 for non-members

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