By William Shakespeare
Directed by Janet Suzman
Date: Tuesday 18th September 2012
It’s been only two weeks since the opening performance, but this has really come on. The dialogue was razor sharp and the story-telling clear and detailed. I heard for the first time the passing reference Antony makes to Cleopatra’s past relationship with Pompey, as well as the one with Julius Caesar. The tempo was just that bit quicker, and despite an audience which seemed determined not to join in the fun, this was the best performance of this play that I can remember.
The staging was almost entirely as before; the only change was in the Monument scene, where the hoist worked tonight. Instead of pulling Antony up, he was lowered down through the trapdoor in the balcony, strapped into a chair device. Once down, he was laid on the mattress which was then pulled forward a little way so that it rested on the stage trapdoor. The dialogue was altered to reflect the change of direction, and the rest of the scene was the same as before. I did notice one additional minor change after this – the snake delivery man didn’t look at the throne this time, nor register who his customer was.
© 2012 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me