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Truth is Powerful

New Julius Caesar looks at the consequences of failed politics


Dr Huw Griffiths, senior lecturer in English Literature, reflects on the retelling of history and political stories in a powerful new production of Julius Caesar. Actor Zahra Newman as Brutus in STC’s Julius Caesar, 2021. Photo: Daniel Boud The Roman emperor Julius Caesar has been killed in the capitol, and the conspirators pause to reflect for a moment. Cassius, the main instigator of the assassination, wonders if this tale will be told again in the centuries to come.

“How many ages hence,” he asks, “Shall this lofty scene be acted over / In states unborn and accents yet unknown?”

And Brutus, Caesar’s one-time friend responds, “How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport?”

In other words, will theatres of the future put on shows about this world-changing event?

Kip Williams’ Julius Caesar (for the STC’s wonderfully refurbished Wharf 1 stage) takes this question from Shakespeare’s play and makes it the beating heart of the production.

It is not just that this 21st century Julius Caesar advertises the contemporary relevance of the story. We are also asked to consider just how political stories are told, re-told, and told again. Geraldine Hakewill and Ewen Leslie using smartphones on stage. Photo: Daniel Boud When Shakespeare wrote this […]

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