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If honour and principle were the watchwords for Caesars of the nineteenth century, and totalitarianism the core of twentieth, the word which ghosts twenty-first-century productions most clearly is 'spin'. This book traces this evolutionary journey, and discusses productions because they somehow speak to ideas about the play which characterise their period of production, or they have significant features in their own right. It first gives an account of productions of the play prior to the Second World War, right from the stagings at the Globe Theatre's in 1599 to William Bridges-Adams's productions till 1934. The 1937 Orson Welles's production of Julius Caesar, staged at New York's Mercury Theatre was decked out with all the trappings and scenic theatricality of contemporary European Fascism. Shakespeare's play becomes a forum for a consideration of an ethics of American identity with John Houseman's 1953 film. The book discusses three modernist productions of Lindsay Anderson, John Barton and Trevor Nunn, and the new versions of the play for the British TV. The productions under Thatcher's Britain are also focused as well as the unknown accents, especially the Indian and African ones. The productions of Italy, Austria and Germany productions have eschewed direct political association with past or present regimes. The book also presents a detailed study of two productions by a single company, Georgia Shakespeare. In the new millennium, the play's back-and-forth exchange between its long past and the shrill and vibrant insistence of its present, have taken centre stage.

Welles at the Mercury Theatre
Andrew James Hartley

In November 1937, Orson Welles’s production of Julius Caesar, staged at New York’s Mercury Theatre on Broadway, opened to immediate adulation and controversy. The production, famously, was decked out with all the trappings and scenic theatricality of contemporary European Fascism and renamed Caesar: Death of a Dictator . However much scholars have sometimes questioned

in Julius Caesar
Mankiewicz (1953)
Andrew James Hartley

John Houseman believed that Herman Mankiewicz should have been considered the primary writer, instead of sharing writing credits with Orson Welles as appeared in the billing. One of the MGM pictures paired John Houseman with Herman Mankiewicz's younger brother Joseph as director, and returned him to Shakespeare's Caesar. Shakespeare's play becomes a forum for a consideration of an ethics of American identity. The film's American affect was emphasised by moments like the battle scenes, which were filmed to resemble contemporary Westerns and shot on location at Bronson Canyon. MGM had dominated the 1930s box office but had struggled to draw audiences after the war as television kept people at home. On Mankiewicz's return to Hollywood, B. DeMille engineered another open ballot calling for his dismissal, a ballot permitting only a 'yes' verdict, which was forcibly hand-delivered by motorcycle couriers during the night to the entire membership.

in Julius Caesar
Caesar at the millennium
Andrew James Hartley

The challenge for Julius Caesar in the twentieth century was the negotiation of the play's politics once Orson Welles had demonstrated the triumphs and perils of making explicit comparison with recent or contemporary events. From the Second World War onwards the oratory, heroism and spectacle of the nineteenth century were steadily replaced by more modernist notions of character and totalitarianism. It is fitting that the last conspicuous Julius Caesar production of the old millennium took place at the reconstructed Globe theatre in London in Spring 1999. Edward Hall's 2001 production, which opened at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre before transferring to the Barbican, evoked both the early twentieth century with its black shirts and strutting, jack-booted Caesar, and the Italian present.

in Julius Caesar
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Political theatre
Andrew James Hartley

directors. Until the late twentieth century, when it has enjoyed a theatrical resurgence, production of the play has been comparatively scarce, and few stagings have been greeted with real excitement since Orson Welles first pointed squarely at the spectre of European Fascism in his 1937 Mercury Theatre production. However much that first scene might be fascinating as a study in the reading of signs, and therefore

in Julius Caesar
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The minor films
Andrew James Hartley

star who drove it, and that means going back a further twenty years to Chicago. In 1949, David Bradley, formerly a student at Orson Welles’s alma mater, the Todd School for Boys, and then completing undergraduate studies at Northwestern University, made a 16mm monochrome film of Julius Caesar starring his boyhood friend Charlton Heston, whom he had directed as a seventeen-year-old in a film of

in Julius Caesar
Scotland’s screen destiny
Mark Thornton Burnett

castles and haunted caverns’ and perhaps takes a leaf from Orson Welles’ Macbeth (1948), in which a ‘Holy Father’ (Alan Napier) is interpolated as a voice of Celtic mysticism. Certainly, in Freeston’s Macbeth , such markers of Scottishness are continually underscored: shots of beaches, lakes, rivers, woods, snow-clad mountains, deer and castles join company with the indigenous accents of the cast

in Shakespeare and Scotland
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Then with Scotland first begin
Willy Maley and Andrew Murphy

being translated in Shakespearean terms, as film versions of Macbeth by directors such as Orson Welles (1948), Roman Polanski (1971), Jeremy Freeston (1997) and Michael Bogdanov (1998) have refashioned Scottish culture (and even the Scottish landscape) according to their own Celticist imaginings. Welles’s papier mâché Scotland offers perhaps the most arresting of these visions. Even more

in Shakespeare and Scotland
Stephen Orgel

– it is not, in fact, even clear that the marriage has actually been consummated. Orson Welles’s extraordinary film version, released in 1952, opens well after the play’s conclusion, with the definitive end of the marriage, the funeral of Othello and Desdemona, in progress. Even this is interrupted, by a figure in chains being dragged to a wooden cage, into which he is thrust and

in Spectacular Performances
Peter Holland

records some of them: Reinhardt’s Lear whose throne had a dome above it with a painted map on it; Orson Welles who marked ‘divisions on a map large enough for a man to walk through – and when he was angered, he walked through it’. 42 The map, if visible, need not represent Britain at all: a Shakespeare Performance group at UCLA used a map of California, an image that, I was told

in Shakespeare’s histories and counter-histories