Antony and Cleopatra

Reverend Productions

SUMMARY

"I am and not/I freeze and yet am burned

Since from myself/another self I turned."

... In the decaying kingdom of Alexandria, Cleopatra thrives on the public gaze. Her relationship with Roman military general Mark Antony, her noted excesses, her victories in war -- all of these are part of her carefully crafted image. But when the harsh realities of Roman politics intrude upon her isolated kingdom, Cleopatra soon finds that her days in the spotlight are numbered, as public splendor gives way to private tragedy.

Set in the twilight of the silent film era, re-imagining Cleopatra's Alexandria as a decadent Weimar-Berlin-inspired film set, this new version of Antony and Cleopatra combines video, music, and Shakespeare's classic text to explore how identities can shift, collide, and dissolve into madness...

CAST

Antony - Mike Crowe

Cleopatra - Catherine Haines

Enobarbus - Chris Johnson

Charmian - Claire Rammelkamp

Iras - Sophie Ablett

Alexas - Julia Hartley

Mardian - Fen Greatley

Proculeius - Peter Rhodes

Caesar - Rob Snellgrove

Lepidus - William Boyd

Agrippa - Sam Young

Eros - Katie Ebner-Landy

Octavia - Kate Macarthur

CREW

Producer - James Marsden

Assistant Producer - Louis Fletcher

Director - Tara Isabella Burton

Assistant Directors - Victoria Empson, Esme Hicks

Production Manager - Olivia Upchurch

Stage Manager - Hannah Groombridge

Costumes - Francesca Petrizzo

Makeup - Ele Grieveson

Marketing - Natalya Din-Kariuki

Filming Director - Sophie Duncan

Film Editor - Frances Reeves

Poster Design - James Gibson

Press Photographer - Palmyre Manivet

Lighting Design - Sam Swinnerton

Rehearsal Blog by OTR's Features Blogger, May Anderson:

Romeo and Juliet were silly, simpering teenagers. Scarlett and Rhett should have stopped being so fickle. And Dante should have just spoken to Beatrice instead of mooning over her his whole life. But who can blame Anthony and Cleopatra? As tragic love affairs go theirs has to be the grandest. With the fates of two empires in the balance, Shakespeare’s play gives us passion in excess, power at its most decadent and a heroine that director Isabella Burton calls a ‘badass motherfucker’. This is a love affair with balls – cosy and predictable modern interpretation of a thespian’s favourite this is not.

Treading that fine line between the tragic and the ridiculous – how many sane men would risk the fate of a fleet for a kiss? – this production takes its dramatic energy from being set in the dying days of Weimar-era Berlin. The cabaret clubs are thick with cigarette smoke. The silent movie stars are mutely fading to black. And in its midst Cleopatra and Anthony enact the myth that will leave a legacy longer then their tragic lives. The decision to frame Cleopatra as the last of her breed, a silver-screen siren at the end of her celebrity is a stroke of genius. ‘Other women cloy / The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry / Where most she satisfies’ tells one admirer of Cleopatra’s allure. The role is a foreboding task for any actress but watching Catherine Haines in rehearsal there is a definite sense of the mesmeric power that ancient queen must have had over men. With less than two weeks to go the cast are looking strong and ambitious plans for set design, including a whole art-deco style Egyptian temple being built in the Keble O’Reily, bode well for what seems like an interesting production.

With Roland Emmerich’s ‘Anonymous’ having just hit the cinemas, a film that expounds the fairly ludicrous theory that Shakespeare didn’t write his plays but was a cover for the work of the Earl of Oxford, it seems apt for us to dismiss the silly tittle-tattle that often attends literary history and get back to what really makes us see Shakespeare again and again, and that’s the language. Gorgeous is one word, but the dialogue in ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’ is also sensual, contradictory and faintly self-mocking. The freedom that doing a Shakespeare play allows also means that this production will have some rather nifty video elements in keeping with the evocative Weimar theme. Playing from the 8 November at the Keble O’ Reily, ‘Anthony & Cleopatra’ looks set to be an exciting exploration of the power and the passion of one of history’s most fascinating couples.

Admission: £7(£5)

Keble O'Reilly

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