Wise saws and Modern(ist) instances
Anderson, Barton and Nunn
in Julius Caesar
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This chapter considers three productions which model different forms of that modernist impulse: Lindsay Anderson's 1964 production at the Royal Court; John Barton's 1968 production for the RSC; and Trevor Nunn's production, also for the RSC, in 1972. It focuses on an aspect of the staging of Julius Caesar as a particular instance of a larger debate surrounding Shakespeare on stage. In 1964, Lindsay Anderson directed Julius Caesar at the Royal Court for the English Stage Company. If Britain in the 1960s and 1970s was to find a modernist frame for this emphatically premodern play, it would have to come to it via some route other than a deconstruction of what Anderson called rhetorical acting. As Lindsay Anderson was mounting his iconoclastic Caesar, sights levelled on the Peter Hall verse-speaking method, John Barton was working with Hall on The Wars of the Roses.

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