Antony and Cleopatra (1983): Young Vic Theatre
PrAntony and Cleopatra (1983)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Keith Baxter (Antony); Brian Deacon (Octavius Caesar); Judy Parfitt (Cleopatra); Barry Stanton (Enobarbus).
This production ran from 19 April - 20 May 1983.
"The school parties packing into the Young Vic to see their set book are greeted by a Voytek set of baroque splendour that seems rather to herald a performance of All For Love. I hope they will not be put off. Keith Hack's production is as successful a demonstration as I have seen of blending and inventing styles and periods. A headless heroic statue...dominates a flight of steps down which a cascade of crushed and gathered cloth-of-gold spreads from its torso to cover the forestage. Antony's classical breastplate and tan leather trousers (impudently planted with a lily up front) sit comfortably beside the imitation of Veronese in Caesar's and Enobarbus's military costumes and a featherweight lavender tulle confection for Cleopatra which she could have worn to a first night at Covent Garden. So much for Pippy Bradshaw's costumes. I am less happy about the actors inside them...[Keith Baxter's Antony] gets away with some splendidly butch business, swinging his tall Queen of Egypt (Judy Parfitt) into the air for 'Here is my space...the nobleness of life is to do thus' and departing from Sextus Pompeius's drinking session hoisting Octavius (Brian Deacon) in one hand and his host in the other. That is fair, at least, on Jeffery Kissoon's Pompeius, who approaches a parody of old-school Old Vic acting." ~ Anthony Masters, The Times, 25 April 1983
"Other playing in the new revival can sometimes be dubious a poor Pompey, for example, and a curiously gauche Octavius Caesar." ~ J. C. Trewin, Birmingham Post, 28 April 1983