Julius Caesar (1977): National Theatre, Olivier Theatre
PrJulius Caesar (1977)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Ian Charleson (Octavius); Rowena Cooper (Portia); Brian Cox (Brutus); Ann Firbank (Calpurnia); John Gielgud (Julius Caesar); Mark McManus (Mark Antony); Ronald Pickup (Cassius).
This production ran from 17 March - 3 September 1977.
"'Oh what a fall was there, my countrymen,' said Mark Antony, standing over the slain Julius Caesar at the Olivier this week. He might have beens peaking of John Schlesinger's production - another inexplicable, expensive booboo by Britain's can't-get-it-right National Theatre. Suspicion arose early that we were in for a glum evening when, inside the first minutes, a bit player wearing a Costa del Sol souvenir straw hat took to the stage carrying a cardboard poster with the name 'Caesar' on it. He was joined by some rhubarbing mates to suggest the Roman mob. They stood around like extras on a TV commercial for Martini....The failure of this Julius Caesar might simply be a failure of nerve. Take the costumes, for instance - a suggestion of fascist jackboots, a touch of World War I greatcoats, a hint of Kipling's India and even a chicken-hearted concession to the orthodox Roman toga." ~ Herbert Kretzmer, "I come to bury this Caesar, not praise him", Daily Express, 26 March 1977
"...the soothsayer is a young, blind boy led about on a long length of robe by an old beggarly woman whom the programme dully labels 'Companion to Soothsayer'; three augurers appear superfluously in Caesar's house, wringing their bloody hands to illustrate a servant's report" ~ Plays and Players, May 1977