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Posts Tagged ‘Sirine Saba’

Though I’ve seen both Julius Caesar and Anthony & Cleopatra a number of times before, I’ve never seen them within months let alone days of one another. So call me a dummy, but it only dawned on me when I saw this the day after JC that they effectively constitute sequential Roman history and share three characters – the Roman triumvirate of Octavius Caesar, Lepidus and Mark Anthony that replaced Julius Caesar when he was murdered. Why don’t theatres pair them like they do the (British) history plays? In this case, The Globe opened A&C before JC and they have different casts (otherwise you’d be wondering how Mark Anthony managed to age so much and pile on the pounds overnight!)

A brilliant opening of Egyptian music and dancing sets the scene for a production which moves seamlessly from Rome to Egypt and back in an excellent design, with superb costumes, by Colin Richmond (I think I might have to steal Cleopatra’s gold winged throne); you really feel you are experiencing two different cultures. Jonathan Munby injects great pace and physicality into the play but still allows more intimate scenes their space, though it does make you feel all the fun is to be had in Egypt and Rome is rather dull in comparison (though the drinking scene in Pompey’s camp is a glorious exception).

Eve Best’s Cleopatra is a combination of feisty, playful and sexy, with more costume changes than a Kylie Minogue concert (not that I’d know, of course) enabling her to look like a pirate queen, a seductress and the most regal of royals amongst others. She even flirts with the audience and one groundling got very good value for his £5 with a full on kiss on the lips! Her closeness with her attendants Charmian (an excellent Sirine Saba) and Iras (Rosie Hilal, who doubles up as Octavia almost unrecognisably) is very much in the fore. Clive Wood’s Anthony emphasises his infatuation with the much younger Cleopatra but also the psychological and emotional pull back to Rome; a typical mid-life crisis.

This is as good an Anthony & Cleopatra as Julius Caesar is as good a production of that play and I really enjoyed seeing them in the right order so close together, even if it wasn’t intentional!

The Globe was buzzing this weekend, proving itself indispensable yet again.

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