Julius Caesar

Gregory Doran’s modern-dress production for the RSC sets the action in post-independence Africa and features a distinguished all-black cast.

A vivid fast-moving thriller about a struggle for democracy, William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is also a love story between two men united by an explosive act of political violence. The contemporary resonance of Shakespeare’s drama made it the play that Nelson Mandela quoted from when he wrote the ANC’s first manifesto, and the African leader returned to it again and again in prison.

Gregory Doran’s 2012 modern-dress production for the Royal Shakespeare Company set the action in post-independence Africa and features a distinguished all-Black cast. The BBC film made with Illuminations, continued a partnership begun with acclaimed films of Macbeth (2001) and Hamlet (2009), is a location-shot version of the drama that also features scenes recorded in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. The screen adaptation is complementary to the stage production but distinctively and separately conceived in dynamic terms for the screen.

The film features the full RSC cast and was shot alongside the stage rehearsals as well as just at the start of the theatrical run. No television version of a play had ever been made in this way before.

With Paterson Joseph, Cyril Nri, Ray Fearon, Jeffery Kissoon, Adjoa Andoh
Original music: Tayo Akinbode
Director of photography: Steve Lawes
Editor: Trevor Waite
Producer: John Wyver
Director: Gregory Doran

An Illuminations/Royal Shakespeare Company production for the BBC in association with The Open University, 2012

Buy Julius Caesar on DVD.