Camden Fringe brings Rome 3000 to the stage, where you’ll witness an 80-minute compacted version of one of Shakespeare’s most epic plays, Julius Caesar. It showcases modernized elements through gender switching and live music written by Company Colab.

A cast of seven, who were all present on stage throughout (some of which multi rolling), took the audience smoothly through the story in an accessible way, regardless if they have seen Julius Caesar before. Modern twists such as bags being used for the murder weapons, different languages, gas masks, and music all added in making this piece feel more sensitive and current to today’s world.

Rocking us into the start of the performance with her harmonious soprano voice is Florence Guy as Caius Cassius. Her unyielding belief for change and power in Rome comes from tempting the well-favoured Brutus, played by stand-out actor, Tor Leijten. Following them in the lead, as both the instrumental guitarist and hero, was Alun Rees as Mark Anthony. He was a powerhouse in his delivery as the shattered beloved character, finding both insanity and grounded connection after losing his mentor. Evan L. Baker’s interpretation of Caesar as a Conor McGregor/Everton northerner man was hilarious to this usually not so funny play. Mathilde Majnoni’s Cassca was well-versed, highly energetic, and very consistent. Andrew Krueger’s rendition of Portia, the wife of Brutus, was both relatable and thoughtful. His skill of the electric cello added instrumental creativeness to the scenes. And Clara Rozzi, being a gas masked figure for most of the show (may we add how truly remarkable that is, especially in the heat of the stage) helped round the show off with short bursts of dialogue and choreography.

Though the actors used the whole stage, we felt at times the blocking could have been clearer and rehearsed into the piece a bit more. However, we can forgive and understand the rehearsal time was short, which would have been an integral time to improve the visuals to allow for the more pivotal emotions to come out. Placement of blocking and the use of sound equipment (dialed down a bit), would have clearer audibility for the audience.

The production itself lacked good direction and clean dialogue; however, the acting was strong, and it is clear the actors all are very talented. Rome 3000 performed at the Canal Cafe Theatre August 1st through 8th. It will resume production at The Cockpit August 12th and 13th.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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