Antony and Cleopatra: A Review

Last night I went to Antony and Cleopatra at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon. This fantastic production, starring Joaquina Kalukango and Jonathan Cake, was set in 18th Century Haiti and worked with a radically edited script. This new cut of Antony and Cleopatra was created by Tarell McCraney, who also directed the production. The show is only running in Stratford until 30/11/13 and then moving to the USA.  Today I have made a very speedy video review of last night's performance, in the hope that it will encourage someone to rush to the RSC and sweep up any remaining tickets; the production is a stunner!

If you are interested in the performance history of the character of Cleopatra, I would recommend Enter The Body by Carol Chillington Rutter (Routledge, 2001) and her chapter "Shadowing Cleopatra: making whiteness strange", starting on page 57.

There was so much of interest in this production, particularly the use water, which tied together themes of gender, sexuality, religion, and politics in a vibrant and unexpected way. This production didn't make a choice between using the play to talk about important issues, representing an epic love story, or discussing a political struggle. Instead, the cast and crew adroitly managed all of the above. Get a ticket if you can!

Photograph from the RSC


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