theatre · Uncategorized

The Class In Classic – Antony & Cleopatra

As part of the RSC’s Rome season, Antony and Cleopatra – directed by seasoned RSC seasoned director Iqbal Khan – does this Shakespearian classic absolute justice. In this retelling of the story that follows on from Julius Ceaser’s assassination, we see the conflict progress between Mark Antony and Octavius Ceaser fuelled by the temptress Cleopatra. For me Jossette Simons portrayal of Cleopatra was the absolute stand out performance of the play. She played the perfect balance between crazy and tragic and I found her response to Antony and Octavia’s wedding almost relatable. The way her physicality and vocal control showed a woman truly distraught and jealous about being replaced drew you in and you wanted to know the answer to every question: her height, her hair colour, is she pretty, it was as though we were witnessing an old school Facebook stalk. Simons didn’t play Cleopatra as seductively as some may expect the character to be played , but instead I felt she played more on the powerful woman, yes she could use her body to get what she wanted, but also her brain and her wit. She would not die in vain but instead die as the queen she was. Ibqual’s staging of this beautifully sad death was powerful and moving, and I found the simple stage with Cleopatra central on a throne dressed in her finery the most incredible stage image that will stay with me forever. For the first RSC production I’ve ever seen this definitely did not disappoint, an absolute pleasure to watch such a powerful performance


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