Sport for Jove’s acclaimed Summer Shakespeare Season, now in it’s 8th successful year, has become a must-see on the NSW theatrical calendar. This year we go on a Roman Holiday – the epic tale of Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra, told together in the frenzy and accessibility of the Festival atmosphere, outdoors and full of feasting and invention.
Shakespeare looked to the Roman past not out of historical curiosity but to awaken us to the struggles, fears and possibilities of our present – our relationships to power, to loyalty, to freedom, to violence, to idealism and to civic duty. But above all he turned to the famous characters and events of an ancient age in order to imagine new futures –
“How many ages hence shall this, our lofty scene, be acted over in states unborn and accents yet unknown” Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra are two of his greatest plays – famed for their clarity, political modernity, poetry and their extraordinary pantheon of characters, real men and women who defined the very pulse of their age and who are rekindled in the possibilities of every political leader and every political machination of the 21st Century. Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Mark Antony, Augustus, Portia, Cassius, Brutus, Agrippa. Their rise and thunderous fall threw down to us a set of challenges we may never master. How do we lead a nation? How do we follow a leader? What sparks revolution? What suppresses it? What price freedom…?
And as the merry-go-round of the Australian Prime Ministership has shown in recent years, politics is as personal as life itself. Love, hate, betrayal, sacrifice, lust, confusion, tyranny – power is a fragile house of cards and every nation stands in its trembling shadow.
Join us outdoors this summer for a rampaging look at Rome’s eternal lessons for our contemporary lives.