On Friday I went and saw Julius Caesar. I’ve never read Julius Caesar, and did not know much about the story line, but I was aware that there was a man named Brutus who killed Caesar and that was about it. Now, the last Shakespeare play I saw, Romeo and Juliet, was absolutely awful, and I’m quite certain that was the only completely Shakespearean play I ever saw except for the sophomore production of Macbeth last year which was terrible as well. Anyway, so Ciara and I went to this play and the whole time we were confused. I mean, it probably would have helped a ridiculous amount if we were more familiar with the story, but luckily the updated English saved us a bit here.
What I realized is that I needed to pay close attention to what the characters were saying and doing in order to follow the play. Occasionally I drifted off for a few minutes at a time and was left confounded. I would be hearing “and thou art…” and then all of the sudden someone would talk about texting and my attention would just snap back and I would have to figure out what was happening again. In this respect, the updated version helped. Soliloquies which I previously would not have been able to understand became comprehendible, and whenever my attention lacked, the lines akin to what I would hear in a class room would spark my attention with their conspicuousness. This was one problem, though it wasn’t constant or consistent. Sometimes the new lines would blend into the play and it was a really wonderful effect but other times it was obviously out of place (and here I’ll cite the lines about texting which were odd) but the adapted story (the whole based in a high school thing) was fitting and since I was sitting behind the computer I was able to see the power point which was hilarious.
Overall, the acting was great; I really enjoyed Caesar, Cassius and Mark Antony. There was also someone with these green boots that I coveted but other than that, I enjoyed the play. The actors seemed very in touch with their characters, especially the one who was strutting around stage without pants. I’ll admit I was surprised when Caesar died and the play continued seeing as I’ve always been under the impression that a play/book/movie generally ends when the main character, especially one for which the play was named, gets brutally stabbed to death. It was also different because half the kids weren’t even from Johns Creek and many were from South Forsyth.
Overall the updated version was pleasing. Some of the changes were funny, some were clever, and some helped the play become more cohesive. I wouldn’t say I’d see it again, but I’m glad I saw it once and it was interesting to note the changes in dialogue and the way that each character seemed to fit a different stereotype.