by William Shakespeare, Lyric Theatre
What a compelling debut by new director Leon Rubin at the Lyric Theatre. His production of Julius Caesar opened there to a full house last night and it would be no exaggeration to say it amounted to a triumph.
Rubin’s production shows that Julius Caesar is still all too much a play of our times.
Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which just opened at the Lyric, left me feeling like the chappie Keats wrote about – who stared in wild surmise, speechless on gazing at the Pacific.
Indeed I even find myself reluctant to write about it lest it be diminished by discussion. For this was no ordinary production. This was an achievement of the first order, a spectacular triumph that deserves to have an angel of Egypt despatched to write its virtues red on every door in Ulster.
The whole presentation was startlingly modern. Even the casting was a surprise.
Having had this sample of Leon Rubin the appetite cannot but be whetted for more. He has unearthed in Shakespeare yet further strand of relevance and we can look forward breathlessly to what’s in the pipeline during the year ahead.
The new director of productions at Belfast’s Lyric, Players Theatre, Leon Rubin, has given the city a rare and exciting experience with his production of Julius Caesar. Here clarity of the historical background and respect for the quality of the writing are combined with a lively awareness of the timelessness of the theme and particularly the similarity to contemporary politics in a way that makes the play accessible and palatable.
The setting is barely sketched … Imagination fills in all that is necessary for background. Imagination, too, readily makes the comparison between Caesar and Sadat, or indeed with any of the assassinated figures of our time.