Like Kind Lear last year, this is a chance for Bristol Old Vc Theatre School students to act with some of the great alumni, in this production Juian Glover as Caesar, Lynn Farleigh as Calpurnia and John Hartoch as the Soothsayer. So this is part old-hands and part student - a terrific idea that gives the students a chance to sample working with hugely experienced colleagues in ways largely lost to most actors since the days of Rep.
The production was in a "generic modern" style which didn't add much - indeed the crowd scenes were less than convincing though the battle was well represented. Freddie Bowerman's Brutus was an accomplished and confident performance that would not have been out of place on any stage and Ross O'Donnellan's Mark Anthony grew on me after a slightly iffy start, ending the first act on a particular high. I found Alice Kerrigan's roles, particularly that of Lucia, most watchable as were those of Rudolphe Mdlongwa. Just occasionally with some of the remaining cast I felt like I was watching a student production and they hadn't bought fully in to the experience - but then experience is [erhaps what they lack and this is a great way to get a kick start!
It was curious to listen to the audience in the interval, split between those discussing the production and those drawing real or imagined parallels with current politics - Julius Caesar, it seems, still has a way tto speak to a modern audience.
A most enjoyable evening