Secret House has come up with a captivating two hour adaptation of Shakespeare’s great love tragedy, in modern dress and using the original language and plot. This stripped down new version is fast-paced and features an ensemble of just eleven actors skilfully playing some twenty seven roles.
In this epic play the Bard brilliantly charts the highs and lows of the intimate relationship between the besotted Mark Antony and the beautiful Cleopatra. Thematically, the work is a unique exploration of the conflicts of politics, sex and power, in a war torn empire, starting with the Sicilian revolt until Cleopatra’s suicide, during the Final War of the Roman Republic. Shakespeare tinkers with the historical facts to aid in his dramatisation.
“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies”. Enobarbus. Act 2 Scene 2.
Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, alluring, vain, complex is one of Shakespeare’s greatest roles. Jane Angharad gives a very fine performance in this prized role and is the shining light in this production.
The Bard’s original play is some 210 minutes long, features some forty separate settings, has a five structure, and can be hard going for audiences. With this production Secret House has delivered an Antony and Cleopatra that works well for a contemporary audience.
Recommended. Secret House’s ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA only has a brief season at the Depot Theatre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville. The final performances are tonight and tomorrow night at 8pm.
Director – Laura Heard
Stage Manager – Mehran Mortezaei
Cleopatra – Jane Angharad
Mardian/ Agrippa/ Gallus- Myles Burgin
Soothsayer/ Clown/ Seleucus/ School Master/Guard – Claire De Mellow
Messenger/ Eros/ Scarus – Jessica Degrassi
Charmian/ Canidius – Marcella Franco
Caesar – Robert Gray
Lepidus/ Dollabella/ Attendant (Act 3 sc13) – David Hill
Alexas/ Thidius/ Captain/ Proculeius- Shane Millward
Antony – James Smithers
Octavia/ Iras – Romney Stanton
Enobarbus – Amrik Tumber