Julius Caesar

Written by William Shakespeare, Directed by Dan Meigh
Liverpool Everyman (23rd-24th October 2007)

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

To be perfectly frank, I arrived for this production without any great expectations, given that it was to be performed by the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Youth Theatre.

But my fears of having to watch a bunch of kids trying to get to grips with the complexities of a Shakespeare play were swept aside, following an enthralling presentation by them.

After a ten-year absence caused by an acute lack of finance, this marked the return of youth theatre to the Everyman, after the new group was set up little over a year ago. But if this performance is any yardstick the company have a prosperous future ahead of them.

Perhaps it is unfair to single out a couple out of a collection of forty youngsters aged between thirteen and eighteen involved in the play, but nevertheless John Burns, who played Brutus, and Steven Davies, who took the role of Cassius, were very impressive, notably with their confident handling of the richness and intricacy of Shakespeare's text.

As is the case with a number of plays by Shakespeare, Caesar is awash with a lot of spilled blood. This is no surprise given the murderous intent on the part of several leading characters bidding for higher power in Rome.

In regard to the violent nature of the play, I found it refreshing that the youngsters were given the opportunity to take part in this searing indictment of mankind's brutal and cruel nature, instead of being given something more mainstream and safe to perform in.

I had only one small quibble with the performance - it was sometimes difficult to hear what some actors, particularly the girls in the cast, were attempting to articulate, maybe because they were speaking too fast.

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Comment left by David Jenkinson on 30th October, 2007 at 17:59
When i arrived at the play i did not expect to see the quality i did from the performers especially the cast member who played brutus i thought he was exceptional and i think was the star of the show especially when he died and the blood went all over the front row it was great.

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