Melbourne Shakespeare Company to perform Julius Caesar at fortyfivedownstairs

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Melbourne Shakespeare Company to perform Julius Caesar at fortyfivedownstairs

Words by Staff Writer

Richard Murphet directs an all-star cast in a daring new interpretation of Shakespeare’s iconic play Julius Caesar.

Following the success of their sold-out production of King Lear in 2021, Melbourne Shakespeare Company returns to fortyfivedownstairs with their highly anticipated contemporary reimagining of Shakespeare’s original political thriller Julius Caesar. Directed by Richard Murphet (Quick Death, Slow Love) with production design by Dale Ferguson (Exit the King – Tony Nominated, An Ideal Husband), Julius Caesar is destined to be the theatrical event of the year.

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Julius Caesar tells the story of a divisive leader whose desire for power poses a threat to the republic, leading to his assassination. Civil war erupts, and through the chaos, a new leader must rise to fill the void. As Murphet muses however, “Macbeth dies at the end of Macbeth. Hamlet dies at the end of Hamlet. King Lear dies at the end of King Lear. Those plays are about those figures. Not Julius Caesar”. Caesar’s death is the catalyst for the high stakes action that unfolds in this thrilling political drama. Audiences should prepare to be blown away by the gripping narrative, beautiful poetry and captivating characters that have seen this play stand the text of time as one of Shakespeare’s greats.

Melbourne Shakespeare Company are well known for their innovative, diverse and inclusive casting and this ground-breaking new production is no exception. Matriarch of the Australian stage Natasha Herbert (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Cloudstreet) will lead the sixteen-strong company in the iconic role of Marc Antony supported by some of Australia’s finest actors including Hunter Perske (The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) in the titular role, Matthew Connell (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet) and Mark Wilson (Doors Shut) as Brutus and Cassius, and Aisha Aidara (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) as Portia. Julius Caesar is a rare opportunity to see artistic talent of this calibre on the independent theatre stage.

Julius Caesar will be brought to life by a visionary team of designers including Tony nominated Production Designer – Dale Ferguson, pioneering Lighting Designer – Kris Chainey (The Leenane Trilogy, Bighouse Dreaming), with composition & sound design from rising star – Grace Ferguson (On the Beach, Grace). Utilising the intimacy of the venue, this trio of artists will transform fortyfivedownstairs into an immersive cityscape transporting the audience into a world where we feel as though we are ‘part of the crowd’ spurring on the action with our cheers and taunts.

Julius Caesar previews on Thursday August 24th, with opening night on Friday August 25th at fortyfivedownstairs. This production is a rare opportunity for audiences to experience Australia’s finest performers led by visionary theatre makers in an intimate theatre setting. With only ten performances, this ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ production is guaranteed to be remembered for years to come.

Tickets are now available at: