Julius Caesar in Original Pronunciation

Reviewer's rating

The fashion for performing Renaissance theatre as closely to our understanding of how the audiences of the time may have seen the plays is still very much in development. It is highly admirable to see a company take on the challenge of performing in Original Pronunciation, particularly which it is mixed with the added formidable tasks of editing and staging a Shakespeare play.

The cast had obviously laboured over representing the sounds and rhythms of the Elizabethan accents, replicating the ‘OP’ (as the academics of the field such as the renowned David Crystal refer to it) with great care and success. The sounds were beautiful, and particularly commendable was the way each actor allowed their speech to be coloured by their own accents, as would have been the case four hundred years ago. The staging was simple but effective, and seemed to nod towards the improvised air we imagine Renaissance companies would have had. Whilst perhaps the characterisation of many of the parts had been neglected as a result of the labour of performing in OP, it is a highly recommended production for anyone with a vested interest in performance history.