Lace Market Youth Theatre.
Although Shakespeare titled the tragedy "Julius Caesar", the play really centres around Brutus and the conflicting demands on honour, friendship and patriotism. Casear only appears in the second act as a ghost to Brutus, in the same way as Macbeth did in that Scottish play.
This is the youth section of the Lace Market Theatre and they really embraced the poetry of Shakespeare and made it sound as if it was their second language; they looked so comfortable delivering the Bard's script. I often feel that there's just not quite enough animation in some of the actors I've seen perform Shakespeare, because the drama in the work lends itself wonderfully to animated behaviour. Not so here as I thought it was spot on. Obviously director Roger Watson has worked long and hard with his cast to get the fine line just about perfect.
As you walk into the auditorium, the stage is sparse; just a couple of multi-raised platforms and a bit of graffiti with an archway with barbed wire, designed by Roger Watson. This created a modern feel which was carried through with the contemporary costumes, This worked really well because of the younger cast. The energy and youthfulness of the cast made, what is an exciting play anyway, into a charged, and even more exciting piece of theatre.
It's a large cast, 26 in all which gives a realistic feel to the crowd scenes, making such an impact from the start as they storm through the theatre to the stage, immediately getting your attention from the very start. Another exciting piece of direction.
The lighting plays a big part in the scene setting of the play and Kerry Newcombe is responsible for the design of the evocative moods created and the exciting thunder storm effects. It shows what an integral part of this play the lighting is by the amount of people in the lighting team, Charlie Bailey, Simon Carter, Rosina Reading, Jon Watson and the multi talents of Roger Watson again.
Caesar was played by Finn Doherty and he brought an air of command to the show when in character, looking the part of the Roman military man. A really solid and confident performance.
Brutus, plated by James Green,and the real star of the show (a little in the way that Judas is the star of the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar") is, again, perfectly cast. you can see the mental struggle between his love of Caesar and his patriotism which then spills out into his speeches. Once more an incredibly confident and exciting performer to watch.
There were so many wonderful performances and performers in this cast that I can't mention you all by name, and I think from the rapturous applause at the end of the show, they all knew they'd done an excellent job. they don't need me to tell them just how good they all are. A brilliant cast, an exciting story with multi-murders, what more could you want?
Many people, especially younger people, can be scared off of Shakespeare because of the style he writes in, but this is so easy to follow and is such a great story, performed so well that i can easily say that this is a play that everyone will enjoy and understand. Go on, lend an ear to it!
"Julius Caesar" is being performed at the Nottingham Lace Market Theatre until Saturday 19 March 2016.