Political intrigue and fierce battle rage in this tense and dynamic production in which a country is torn apart under the legacy of Julius Caesar, 'the colossus'.
Revitalised, original, and comprehensive, this is Shakespeare for the new millennium.
© and (P)1999 BBC Worldwide Ltd
"why the 1930s?"
What posessed the BBC to update the setting? They decided to set this in 1930s Rome- which I suppose is as sensible as setting Twelth Night on the riviera- but that works and this doesn't- we get jeep doors slamming, machine gun fire and (worst of all) microphone hiss in Mark Antony's speech, but still the shakespeare text is so saturated with the swish of togas, flints for lighting candles etc. that the ancient world seeps through- like blood from Caesar's corpse.
In short, nothing was gained by specifying the period so exactly- and the great beauty of radio is that settings can be kept nebulous.
But once I had gritted my teeth I found I quite enjoyed it. Superb acting- almost unbearably so- Mark Anotony is so horribly oily.
A pity, though, that the casting doesn't match with the BBC 'Antony and Cleopatra.'
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