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…honour is the subject of my story…
The ideal ingredients for a contemporary and totally
successful blockbuster at the cinema: love and betrayal,
machinations and plots, determination and fear, hon-
our and shame, wars and assassinations. And of course
power and its intoxication; power and its malleable na-
ture. Shakespeare, however, dealt with all these issues
in 1599 and included them in his tragedy “Julius Cae-
sar”, proving (like the ancient Greek dramatists) that at
critical moments, fundamental human emotions always
remain the same. Through Caesar’s historic murder,
Shakespeare explores Brutus’ soul and highlights his
contrasting emotions that overwhelm this tragic char-
acter, up until the moment of his cleansing suicide.
without doubt, it was a huge challenge to bring to-
gether the freshness of young minds with a classic mas-
terpiece, to engage students in speaking his “odd”
language and render the moral dilemmas of his heroes.
The taxing task was fully met. It was a truly wonderful
experience watching the youngsters solidly performing
the play of the great Bard and listening to them persua-
sively expressing life’s big truths. with their Roman hel-
mets on their small heads and in their ample togas, it
was a unique sentiment to watch these young actors
waiting to speak their lines with the appropriate tone.
Everyone performed their roles brilliantly. The scenes
with the plebeians, the soldiers and the senators were
wonderfully executed. All the protagonists were also
competent and with a correct sense of timing. Special
mention needs to go to lucas James Irwin, whose talent
shone in his portrayal of Brutus. with a natural mini-
malistic approach, clear articulation and complete con-
trol of his emotions, he responded with professional
ease to a difficult mission. Costumes also played their
part and the soundtrack matched the spirit of the play.
Through the director’s note in the programme, his fa-
miliarity with Shakespeare is clearly evident as is his
preference towards the historic plays of the great
dramatist. Consequently, he managed to utilise the the-
atrical area, as well as the cast’s potential, to its full ex-
tent. A characteristic example was the original (and
practical) use of girls in the roles of Cassius and Marc
Anthony, which was crowned with success! his com-
ment on the relationship between the youngsters and
politics is a valid one, particularly when he stresses the
correlation between the two and its mportance, as it
should be. Mr. Gamble brought to the surface both the
virtues of the play and the actors, marrying the “heavi-
ness” of the script with young souls.
The vulnerable nature of humans in their darkest
hours, comes though the protagonists of history; Shake-
speare’s Brutus, Cavafy’s Marc Antony:
as one long prepared and graced with courage
say goodbye to her, the Alexandria that is leaving.
Review by Panos Polyzogopoulos, Greek Department
and Arts and Minds Club
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