To The Top...and back
by Caitlin Murphy
Shakespeare is hard. A banal thought, but perhaps the fairest foot to put forward in reviewing a student production of Julius Caesar. The plays are long, the language is old, and sword-play is required. Despite all of this, as well as the frustrating lack of female roles, Shakespeare remains the bench-mark of doing theatre, the Mount Everest for budding thespians. And though some make it to the top of that mountain, flag in hand, others get left at base camp, sucking back oxygen. Dawson Theatre’s Caesar has got both kinds.
The accusation that modern Shakespearean productions often face – displaying a strident interest in choices for their own sake and a lack of attention to the meaning these choices create (or don’t) – I think is fairly made here too.
The second act is exceedingly stronger than the first, mostly because at its helm is 2nd Brutus (the production chose to double/shadow-cast several key roles), Sean Colby, whose conviction and raw magnetism make him an actor to watch. Not only does he bring needed life and drive to the production, but the chemistry he shares with 2nd Cassius (the feisty Adalia Pemberton-Smith) is palpable; Colby and Pemberton-Smith felt genuinely like two actors playing together – with and off one another – and, as a result, their scenes were electric.
Julius Caesar runs to November 24