Continuing to explore Shakespeare’s ability to take the greatest moments in history and make them profoundly personal, Bell Shakespeare’s Artistic Director, Peter Evans directs a new production of Antony and Cleopatra, premiering at Sydney Opera House in March, before seasons at Canberra Theatre Centre and Arts Centre Melbourne.
In the ruthless, ever-expanding empire of Rome, Shakespeare creates an astonishing portrait of a love too great for the world. Mark Antony is a hero in a post-heroic world. He is torn between duty and love; his responsibility to Rome and his new life in Egypt; to the world he helped conquer; and his passion for Cleopatra. Complex, charismatic, fierce. Cleopatra is a mother, a lover, a Queen. A woman not to be defied.
“I continue to be fascinated by Shakespeare’s ability to take the grandest moments in history and make them profoundly personal,” said Peter Evans. “Antony and Cleopatra charts the course of two of history’s famous leaders, the world’s first ‘celebrity couple’, but at the core it’s a story of love, of passion, of heartbreak.”
Catherine McClements (Phèdre) returns to Bell Shakespeare for one of the greatest roles ever written. She is joined by Johnny Carr (The Dream) who grapples with the conflict between his love for Cleopatra, and his duties to the Roman Empire.
The stellar ensemble cast includes Ray Chong Nee (Othello, The Dream | Bell Shakespeare), Joseph Del Re (A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Bell Shakespeare), Lucy Goleby (Brisbane | Queensland Theatre Company), Ursula Mills (1984 |Sydney Theatre Company), Zindzi Okenyo (Prize Fighter | Belvoir), Gareth Reeves (Richard 3 | Bell Shakespeare), Steve Rodgers (Diving for Pearls | Griffin Theatre), Jo Turner (The Merchant of Venice | Bell Shakespeare) and Janine Watson (A View from the Bridge | Red Line Productions).
Director: Peter Evans Featuring: Catherine McClements, Johnny Carr, Ray Chong Nee, Joseph Del Re, Lucy Goleby, Ursula Mills, Zindzi Okenyo, Gareth Reeves, Steve Rodgers, Jo Turner, Janine Watson Designer: Anna Cordingley Lighting Designer: Ben Cisterne Composer & Sound Designer: Max Lyandvert Movement & Fight Director: Nigel Poulton Voice Coach: Jess Chambers Assistant Director: Penny Harpham Associate Costume Designer: Emma Vine
Bell Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra
Playhouse – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Season: 3 March – 7 April 2018
The Playhouse – Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, Canberra
Season: 12 – 21 April 2018
Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne
Season: 26 April – 13 May 2018
For more information, visit: www.bellshakespeare.com.au for details.
Image: Catherine McClements stars as Cleopatra (supplied)