Julius Caesar

March 24, 26 & 27 1956

Programme (courtesy of Chris Meakin)

 

" Julius Caesar " was written and produced in 1599 or 1600. Its first audience would have translated its Roman politics into English terms, and may well have seen the Conspirators as supporters of the Earl of Essex, who was then in the Tower, suspected of treason.

Our presentation, in Elizabethan dress and on a " modified Elizabethan " stage, aims at catching something of the original form and colour of the play, with doublet and hose for toga, and a Crowd of Londoners, not Latins. The permanent set enables action to be continuous, but for a few property-changes, and is designed to suggest both a 16th century stage and the hall of a great house, adapted for acting.

There has been little more than three months for rehearsal, almost entirely out of school hours, so that we cannot promise a highly-finished production. We owe the warmest thanks to many enthusiastic helpers, who have given time and toil behind the scenes-particularly to Mrs. Miller for designing, and to parents for making the Crowd costumes. Well over a hundred people have co-operated in this play.

The action takes place at Rome and Philippi, 44-42, B.C.

There will be one interval, of 15 minutes, when coffee will be served in the Dining Hall. Will visitors please obtain tickets, price 6d. from Stewards, before the play starts.

CHARACTERS, IN ORDER OF SPEECH

FLAVIUS, a tribune

G. P. J. Beynon.

FIRST COMMONER

D. R. Bentley.

MARULLUS, a tribune

N. S. Waite.

SECOND COMMONER

A. G. Wagstaff.

JULIUS CAESAR

D. Barron.

CASCA

K. Jackson.

CALPURNIA, Caesar's wife

P. J. Quarrell.

ANTONY

N. G. Wellings.

SOOTHSAYER

R. A. Avis.

BRUTUS

E. C. Wragg.

CASSIUS

S. G. Linstead.

CICERO

A. D. P. Briggs.

CINNA, a conspirator

J. R. Williams.

LUCIUS, Brutus' page

C. E. Nicholson.

DECIUS

G. Wells.

METELLUS conspirators

J. G. McNaught.

TREBONIUS

C. J. Belk.

PORTIA, Brutus' wife

J. Miller.

LIGARIUS, a conspirator

J A. Reaney.

SERVANT to Caesar

B. D. Needham.

PUBLIUS

C. J. Barnes.

ARTEMIDORUS

M. J. Lodge.

POPILIUS

R. E. Bardgett.

SERVANT to Antony

F. D. Beer.

SERVANT to Octavius

M. R. Robinson.

CINNA the poet

J. G. Robinson.

OCTAVIUS CAESAR, nephew and heir to Julius

J. D. Cartwright.

LEPIDUS

J. A. Anderson.

LUCILIUS

A. B. Bagnall.

PINDARUS

E. B. Rodgers.

TITINIUS

D. J. C. McAteer.

MESSALA

G. M. Birtwistle.

VARRO

A. Jackson.

CLAUDIUS

I. H. Neilson.

STRATO

P. B. Fairest.

CLITUS

R. F. Laughton.

DARDANIUS

F. A. Smith.

VOLUMNIUS

I. P. Griffith.

Crowd :-G. N. Brothers, R. N. Hinchliffe, R. MacLeod, J. A. C. Shaw, R. H. Gilbert, P. J. Goulden, M. F. Roddis, A. G. Wagstaff, L. P. Wilkinson, D. R. Bentley, J. B. Thorpe, D. E. Young, B. F. Dean, M. J. Platts, A. L. Vickers, A. D. Waller, G. A. Bates, P. Benton, A. J. Revill, J. H. Sharpe, D. Steeple, N. W. Stockwell, M. H. Crowson, A. R. Abdy, I. R. Parker, M. E. Sara, D. R. T. Findlay, R. H. Harrison, D. H. Moore, R. L. Morant, R. H. Smtth, R. Miller, R. J. Thompson, J. C. B. Turney, R. Mingay, P. A. Solway.

Lucius' song. " Weep, no more, sad fountains", is by Dowland.

Lighting

Mr. W. K. Mace, D. Bailey.

Music

Mr. N. J. Barnes.

Stage Design and Construction

Mr. A. W. Surguy, Mr. J. W. Hersee, Mr. S. W. Shaw, J. P. Consterdine, J. C. Crabtree,
D. V. Fletcher, B. Snelson, N. Saxton, B. A. Wilkes.

Stage Manager

Mr. B. C. Arthur.

Producer

Mr. G. H. Claypole.

 

KES MAGAZINE Spring 1956

"Julius Caesar"

(Presented by the Dramatic Society on March 24th, 26th and 27th.)

IT was no false calculation of the two-thousandth anniversary of the Ides of March, but the demands of Ordinary Level, that focussed the attention of the Dramatic Society on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The usual major difficulty had to be surmounted, an apparently intractable Hall, unsuited for stage productions; but troubles were further increased this year by lack of time in an already overcrowded and tiring term and by the most unfortunate illnesses which beset the School's senior dramatic experts, Messrs. Claypole and Watling, on the eve of the first performance. But these difficulties were triumphantly overcome.

The production was envisaged on an Elizabethan pattern, and a large number of the costumes, designed by Mrs. Miller, were made by the parents. Under the direction of Messrs. Surguy, Hersee and Shaw, with many willing helpers, a " modified Elizabethan" stage was constructed which demanded the minimum of property changes and enabled the action to be continuous. The co-ordination of so much activity was most impressive and bears eloquent testimony to the vision and direction of Mr. Claypole and his undaunted deputy, Mr. Chalmers.

The first aim of a school production of Shakespeare is to give the actors an insight into the richness of the poetry and the dramatic technique of the poet, and to provide them with an opportunity to experience the discipline of the stage. One must judge the result on the standards of audibility, diction and stage-sense achieved. Few could be faulted on the first of these counts, but it would have been remarkable if several had not occasionally found it difficult to vary the pace of their lines without losing their words in a laudable striving for emphasis. On the other hand, everyone knew how to make the test use of the stage, even if some were not always sure as to where to put their hands. The audience never failed to appreciate the vigour and enthusiasm that the cast tried to convey. The crowd made a brave show and contained some individuals whose sympathetic acting will no doubt be put to good use on future occasions.

The principals performed a difficult task creditably. Brutus and Cassius tended to neglect the variety of their separate personalities, but displayed an admirable grasp of their essential character. Despite odd lapses into gloomy monotony, E. C. Wragg gave us a sincere and purposeful Brutus, while S. G. Linstead showed a fine cunning and petulance as Cassius. In N. G. Wellings we had a suave and confident Antony, an orator at home in every situation. D. Barron ably brought out the infirmities of Caesar, and J. Miller and P. J. Quarrell found no difficulty in representing the parts of Portia and Calpurnia. Tribunes, conspirators, and soldiers alike gave convincing portrayals of their separate roles.

We owe our thanks for lighting, music, and effects to Messrs. Mace, Hetherington and Barnes; for the smooth stage-management to Mr. Arthur; and for the imaginative programme design to Mr. Helliwell. Finally we must congratulate the producer once again for giving us a thoroughly enjoyable show.

A.F.T.