What’s better than watching Shakespeare? Watching Shakespeare while enjoying a picnic for one thing.
Heading off to Fort Canning to watch Julius Caesar and have a picnic, complete with Dutch cheese and Michelin star hawker chicken harked back to my childhood and watching Oddsocks Productions at Castle Cornet. Food, drink and good company always make for an excellent evening. A wonderful show completes it.
The Singapore Repertory Theatre bought Julius Caesar into a modern day setting. Inspired by the political summits of today, technology and the media were seamlessly inserted while maintaining Shakespeare’s original prose with the occasional pronoun swap. Caesar and Cassius were both played by women adding variety to the cast and allowing Jo Kukathas and Julie Wee to showcase their considerable talent.
Shakespeare captures human nature so exquisitely that his plays are timeless. Languages may evolve and new technologies develop but Shakespeare remains relevant to this day. The substitution of a riot in the place of battling armies was a particularly chilling modern twist; the destructive, angry nature of the riots the grace our newsfeeds on a regular basis was distilled to illustrate this superbly.
The set was also very impressive with a central piece that could be raised and lowered to form a table or water fountain. My favourite part however, was the strip of screens around the top of the stage. These were utilised excellently throughout the play, displaying news reports, the banner of R.O.M.E. and illustrating the treacherous weather that precedes the Ides of March among other things.