Drama on 3 - Antony and Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra is Shakespeare's last great tragedy. Telling the story of one of history's most famous couples, Antony and Cleopatra contains some of the most beautiful poetry in the English Language. Shakespeare's last great tragedy is an epic play of action set against a huge political and geographical backdrop, but at the centre of the play is a story about what happens when two people fall in love. In this play, love is a madness that leads to excess and imbalance. Antony and Cleopatra are middle-aged people who have loved before and often and they seize this late love as if it is their last chance. Their love possesses them and destroys all rational behaviour. Antony and Cleopatra are a celebrity couple - they live their lives in public and they wield tremendous power. They are 'great' figures, and very conscious of their greatness - both are preoccupied with the figure they will cut in history. But they are also 'a soldier and his lass', driven by common human emotions. Shakespeare shows that great natures can produce great vices as well as great virtues - we see their vanity, cruelty and irresponsibility. Like glamorous stars, Antony and Cleopatra are both deeply attractive and open to harsh judgement. Cast: Cleopatra ..... Frances Barber Mark Antony ..... David Harewood Enobarbus ..... Roger Allam Ocatavius Caesar ..... Colin Tierney Lepidus / Clown ..... Ewan Hooper Octavia ..... Amanda Root Pompey / Sentry ..... Garry Cooper Charmian ..... Claire Rushbrook Iras ..... Helen Longworth Eros / Varrius ..... Paul Hilton Scarus / Alexas ..... Ben Onwukwe Decretes / Thidias / Taurus ..... Martin Hyder Philo / Canidius / Dolabella ..... Gerard McDermott Maecenas / Demetrius ..... Sean Baker Agrippa ..... Peter Marinker Ventidius / Proculeius ..... Ben Crowe Menas / Seleucus ..... Jonny Phillips Ambassador / Soothsayer ..... Ian Masters Mardian / Menecrates / Gallus ..... Peter Darney Diomedes / Watchman ..... Carl Prekopp Original music composed by Sylvia Hallett Directed by Mary Peate.
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