This is a marmite show if ever there was one - Julius Caesar finds itself set in a BDSM club in Rome - and it seriously wasn't to my taste at all. The small venue was set up with cabaret-style tables and chairs and the actors were interacting with the audience a fair amount from the beginning. These kind of set-ups can go either way with fringe shows, and I found a lot of the audience to be quite quiet throughout. To give credit to the actors, they seemed to be able to tell which audience members were willing to take part and those who wished to be left alone, but there was such a great amount of background noise, that was often at a level that boomed above individual reactions, so sometimes it was hard to tell as a fellow audience member.
I was impressed by the lighting and the overall appearance of the venue, but the sound was a problem. It was often too loud for us to hear the actors over it, and the company had the added pressure of performing with a fireworks display starting right outside the venue about 20 minutes into the show. Some of the actors were noticeably able to project and be heard above the surrounding noise, but others seemed to lack this skill and therefore occasionally went unheard by a portion of the room. Some went with it and cracked a few jokes, one actor reacting self-awarely to the applause from outside.
It may have been partially due to the background noise that I did not fully engage with the story, which is a shame. It isn't one of Shakespeare's plays that I know the best, and I came out knowing almost nothing more. That said, I can understand why this show would be appealing; it explores Shakespeare in a way that not many would imagine, the actors were confident and had no qualms when it came to their sexuality or masculinity and they obviously enjoy performing. Considering the BDSM scene in Brighton, this could be a fun twist for the right person, however, this show definitely isn't for everyone.
Julius Caesar is an 18+ show.
6, 8, 30 May, 1, 5 Jun 21:30 7, 31 May, 2-4 Jun 21:30 £10(£8.50) to £12(£10.50) [1hr 20m]