‘Much that I fear may chance’

19th June 2012

It may be that in all the excitement about the imminent transmission of Julius Caesar you have missed the news that the England football team play Ukraine this evening. And although your faithful blogger would not normally bring his interest in the beautiful game to this column, there is a connection between Caesar and what may chance tonight in Donetsk. England are playing for a quarter-final place in the Euro 2012 championship, and should their result better the score of France’s simultaneous game against Sweden, then not only will we proceed to the next round (cue unrestrained rejoicing across the land) but we will also top Group D. In which case we will face Italy on Sunday night, with kick-off at 7.45 pm UK time.

So that’s the connection, since BBC Four will start showing Julius Caesar at… 8.00pm on Sunday night. Don’t worry, the BBC reassures me – when it is up against events like the football counter programming of this kind always attracts higher audiences than it might otherwise. Those who are interested in one, the BBC says, won’t be concerned about the other, and the non-footballers will be looking for a distinctive alternative. Except that I am definitely interested in both (and I doubt that I am alone), and so while I would most certainly like Wayne, Walcott and the others to shine against Ukraine, I would be very happy for a sneaky 1-0 win and for France to swamp the Sweden goal with six or more. Then we would play Spain on Saturday. Disloyal, moi?

Image: Cyril Nri as Cassius and Paterson Joseph as Brutus; photo Ellie Kurttz, © Illuminations/Royal Shakespeare Company.


  1. Oh no.

    At the very least it deserves a repeat showing.

    Meanwhile, do you know of any plans for a rerun of BBC Four’s two “live” Globe broadcasts Richard II and Measure for Measure? Now would seem like the perfect time. My VHS recordings are getting a bit ropey.

  2. John Wyver says:

    Football, eh!

    So we got the sneaky 1-0 win, but France let me down badly.

    So which is it to be on Sunday night?

    Italy (which is appropriate in its way) …

    … or Caesar?

  3. Maria Birnkammerer says:

    Football for me on Sunday – but only because I can’t watch BBC live here in Germany. 🙁 I’m really excited about this version of Julius Caesar and I’m looking forward to seeing it on iPlayer!

    Are there any plans for a DVD, maybe even in the next weeks? I’m thinking about using the film in my English classes, but I’d need a DVD or downloadable version for that… But I can always chose Macbeth to read with my pupils *g*

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