Melbourne Fringe: ‘Julius Caesar’

The terrible things the power-hungry stoop to is exposed in Fleur Kilpatrick’s action-packed all -women’s ‘Julius Caesar’. This fast-paced and lusty evocation of the murderous plans of insiders will excite and delight. Enjoy the luxury of watching an all-woman cast deliver this rollicking plot and have your pulse raised as you take all the swashbuckling twists and turns the Bard sets up in his thriller.

If you are a fan of the back room machinations and ill-judged moves of political parties after our own recent federal election, you will enjoy seeing the love of power undo those who act within her domain. The cast give a bravura performance. Watch bloodthirsty ambition corrupt the once noble officers of Rome. Hear all the famous lines: ‘Et tu, Brute?’, ‘Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears..’,  ‘cowards die many times before their deaths’, and ‘Men are quick to believe that which they wish to be true’.

Generals, military leaders, adored deputies, and common people of the city, are portrayed by a strong female cast. Presenting Shakespeare’s meditation on the destruction of imperial power from within, Kilpatrick’s casting of woman in all the roles challenges our viewing, being used, as we are, to hearing only male characters employ the language of authority and rule.

In a cavernous space much like an army camp — all exposed blood-red bricks, tall concrete columns, and overhanding metal frames — we witness the mutineers plan the overthrow of a powerful General, as once they might have executed a military manoeuvre in her name and for her glory. An evocative soundscape of heavy rain, drums, and bells heightens the intensity. A ruby ‘red carpet’ splits the stage, staining it in metaphorical blood.  You will love the casts’ leather-booted and red-caped authority as they muster and move about the space with fervour and agitation. Power corrupts absolutely.

This drama is about overthrow-from-within and offers the audience an exciting view into current electioneering.  American Democrat Hilary Clinton’s push for power, and the seeds of dissent from within, are in evidence in the current US election cycle. It is hard not to regard these women actors, acting in roles assigned to men of power, and reflect on real women who have exercised political power at the top- such as Clinton and Julia Gillard- and the costs therein.

March into the centre of the polis for six showings only. Go with a resolute heart and brave soul, one that honours the fame of ancient Rome!

– Sarah
Sarah W. is a dance-trained theatre lover with a flair for the bold, and non-traditional performance platforms. On-the-street or in the box seat, she is always looking for quality works that push the envelope!

The Season of this 80 minute show runs at the Space 338, 20-29 September, 7:30pm Tues- Thursday. Book here.
The venue is wheelchair accessible.

For more Melbourne Fringe 2016, check out our guide and all our reviews.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Essential Theatre and Melbourne Fringe.
Image credit: Melbourne Fringe.