film festival curated by Tony Howard
presented in partnership with
New Heritage Films/Harlemwood Film Festival
& The Royal Shakespeare Company

My Image Studios Theater
46 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10026




Release Year: 2012
Runtime: 129 Minutes
Directed By: Gregory Doran
Country: UK

Tickets: $12 includes glass of wine

Simple crop (wide)

5/22 MON



MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2015 || 7:00PM
My Image Studios Theater
46 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10026



Set in a modern African state, this fast-moving political thriller is a vivid portrayal of a struggle for democracy and also a love story between two men united by an explosive act of political violence as the tyrant Caesar is about to seize power.

The film includes the original distinguished cast of black actors including Paterson Joseph as Brutus, Ray Fearon as Mark Antony, Cyril Nri as Cassius, Adjoa Andoh as Portia and Jeffery Kissoon as Caesar, and was shot by Illuminations on location and also in the theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon for this screen version. In addition, the DVD includes The Making of Julius Caesar documentary featuring interviews with key cast and crew.



The idea for setting Shakespeare's Roman play in Africa was inspired by Nelson Mandela. One of his fellow inmates on Robben Island had a copy of Shakespeare's plays. Mandela found inspiration in Julius Caesar, and autographed lines from the play.

I then discovered that the play had been performed all over Africa. Julius Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania, had translated it into Swahili, and Sol Plaatje, one of the founders of what would become the ANC, the African National Congress, had rendered it into Tswana. I found that fascinating. Why did this play speak so profoundly to that continent? The great South African actor, John Kani put it succinctly when he told me, "It's simple Greg, Julius Caesar is Shakespeare's African play".

We put this production together for the World Shakespeare Festival, to coincide with the London Olympics in 2012, and opened it in Stratford upon Avon, Shakespeare's home town. It subsequently played London, toured the UK and visited Moscow and New York. We were lucky enough to film the play for the BBC. The private "backstage" conspiracy scenes were filmed on location, and the public scenes, the opening and the forum scene, were filmed live in Stratford in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Our location was a derelict Chinese supermarket in North London, which had to stand in for Africa. But it allowed us to find vivid modern settings for many of the scenes, including an escalator for the assassination of Caesar.

There are lines which Cassius says after Caesar's death which find particular resonance here:

“How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted oe'r
In states unborn and accents yet unknown".

We sent Mandela a copy of the film.

Gregory Doran
Artistic Director
Royal Shakespeare Company



Cast (in credits order)
Theo Affail ... Citizen
Segun Akingbola ... Trebonius
Adjoa Andoh ... Portia
Mark Ebulue ... Artemidoris
Ray Fearon ... Mark Antony
Ricky Fearon ... Cicero
Andrew French ... Decius Brutus
Marcus Griffiths ... Marullus
Ivanno Jeremiah ... Octavius
Paterson Joseph ... Brutus
Jeffery Kissoon ... Julius Caesar
Samantha Lawton ... Caesar's Servant
Simon Manyonda ... Lucius
Joseph Mydell ... Casca
Cyril Nri ... Cassius
Ann Ogbomo ... Calpurnia
Theo Ogundipe ... Soothsayer
Jude Owusu Achiaw ... Cinna the poet
Mark Theodore ... Metellus Cimber
Ewart James Walters ... Caius Ligarius
Chinna Wodu ... Cinna the conspirator

Director: Gregory Doran
Producer(s): Kate Cook [associate producer]; John Wyver [ producer]
Editor: Trevor Waite
Film Editor:Trevor Waite
Casting: Hannah Miller, Janine Snape
Cinematographer: Steve Lawes
Production Desiger Michael Vale
Art Direction by Sarah Pasquali, Matilda Wainwright
Costume Design by Alistair McArthur

Makeup Department
Sandra Smith ... head of wigs
Carol Tucker ... makeup designer
Maria Zimmerman ... assistant makeup artist

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kristian Dench ... first assistant director
Kate Harris ... second assistant director
Chris Judd ... third assistant director

Art Department
Abigail Cawthray... art department assistant
Garry Dawson ... property master
Joe Lucas ... set dresser
Hannah Spice ... property buyer
Stuart Walpole ... standby props Sound Department
Jennifer Annor ... sound assistant
Tom Harrison ... boom operator
Gareth John ... sound recordist
Karl Mainzer ... sound re-recording mixer
Jamie McPhee ... sound effects editor
Jeff Richardson ... dialogue editor Special Effects by
Peter Haran ... special effects supervisor
Jack Whinnett ... special effects assistant

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