Today's post will be slightly different than the others. Keep reading for a critical theatre review of Julius Caesar at The Globe:
LONDONERS, LEND ME YOUR EARS!
By Eleanor Vestal
What’s it like for an American to set foot inside Shakespeare’s Globe to see a Shakespeare play? If you’re standing, your feet will hurt after the next day. However, the energy of the crowd is amazing. Shakespearean comedies are very light and quick on their feet, filled with much laughter, and the audience always leaves the show with a happy and good feeling. Shakespearean tragedies typically leave the audience in a state of upset and maybe disappointment. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is classified as one of his tragedy plays; though the actors that I saw last week added bits of humor to keep the audience alive.
Julius Caesar kept my attention very easily. I don’t know if it was the fact that I knew the show going in, or just that the actors remained in character so well that I felt like I was part of the show. During the dramatic moments of the show, especially the deaths, I felt for the characters that were dying. Cassius’ death was probably one of the most saddening deaths with this show. The fact the character of Cassius died on his birthday was sad enough, but the way the actor portrayed that emotion onstage showed much more feeling for the audience. In his line, in Act V, Scene I, Cassius says, “…this is my birth-day: as this very day / Was Cassius born.” As that monologue continues, we could see the direction in which this was heading towards. To see it on stage, and to see the actor portraying Cassius predict his own death was unfortunate, but it showed how much of an effect the actor as Cassius had on me. In Brutus’ monologue, right before he was killed, “Farewell to you, and you, and you Volumnious. /…That have but labour’d, to attain this hour.” Seeing the emotion in the actor as he spoke during this moment drew in the audience, and made us feel for the action occurring onstage. What was going onstage was so intense, and though I knew what was about to happen, these actors made me feel like I had idea what was to come next.
From a performer’s perspective, seeing Julius Caesar at The Globe theatre is an experience that one would never think of ever happening. To stand in the audience of Julius Caesar was something truly amazing. Not only did I feel the actors on stage, but also I felt the audience as they reacted to what was happening. Looking around The Globe at all the different types of people made me further realize how this wonderful piece of artwork created by William Shakespeare can be created to be a simple form of entertainment that everyone can enjoy in one way or another. For example, during the more dramatic and saddening events of the show, I saw the audience feel a more upsetting emotion for the events occurring on stage, whereas, during the more comedic moments, the audience had a lighter and more of an upbeat to their emotion. Several times I found myself glancing around The Globe just to get a glimpse of what the rest of the audience was experiencing, and how they were reacting to the show.
Overall, Julius Caesar was phenomenal. I felt for the actors, and reacted at the right moments with what I felt during a certain scene. It was filled with so many mixed emotions, in the best way possible.
|Before Julius Caesar at Shakespeare's Globe.|