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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.

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Political theatre
Andrew James Hartley

Julius Caesar opens with a scene in which authority figures struggle to read their audience. That audience, which is celebrating Caesar’s triumphal return on the death of Pompey, have dispensed with those signs of their profession which would normally announce their function and status. The carpenter is without his leather apron and ruler, and when the tribunes try to

in Julius Caesar
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Global Caesars
Andrew James Hartley

Despite Julius Caesar’s popularity as a text for study all over the world and its prominence on the nineteenth-century stage, many nations which have a long and varied history of staged Shakespeare have shown little interest in Caesar during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In the Soviet Union the play seems to have been considered too republican for its

in Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar before the Second World War
Andrew James Hartley

The evolution of any Shakespeare play on stage is always in part the story of Shakespeare’s standing in society at large, and the trajectory mapped by Julius Caesar is a familiar one; a movement away from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries’ interest in spectacle and back towards some of the conditions of the Elizabethan playhouse with increasing value placed on

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 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

in Julius Caesar
Anderson, Barton and Nunn
Andrew James Hartley

way these productions grew out of, and sometimes in opposition to, the larger theatrical culture, emphasis here will be given to contemporary newspaper reviews. In each case I will focus on an aspect of the staging of Julius Caesar as a particular instance of a larger debate surrounding Shakespeare on stage. Lindsay Anderson and verse-speaking: the Royal Court, 1964

in Julius Caesar
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The minor films
Andrew James Hartley

Julius Caesar on stage had been defined by the play’s classicism, by its oratory, and by a perceived idealist treatment of its characters and subject matter. These factors were gradually stripped away from production in the twentieth century, though it was not yet clear what would take their place. To compound the problem, Caesar remained a primary teaching text in a

in Julius Caesar
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
Georgia Shakespeare 2001 and 2009
Andrew James Hartley

contemporary and exciting. This is especially important in a city whose larger artistic life tends to be driven by the inventive urban energies of the New South. In autumn 2001, the year they got their LORT status, the Georgia Shakespeare Festival staged Julius Caesar set in 1930s Louisiana. The show was directed by John Dillon. As dramaturg, I spent weeks in rehearsal, also attending design and production

in Julius Caesar
Caesar under Thatcher
Andrew James Hartley

Peter Holland, in his review of David Thacker’s 1993 production of Julius Caesar at The Other Place, recalls going in with low expectations because of the ‘sad history of the play in recent Stratford productions’ (Holland, 1994 : 194). Those low expectations were quickly turned on their heads by one of the most exciting productions in recent memory, but they are telling

in Julius Caesar