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Julius “Call Me Caesar” Caesar

“Rough-and-ready reimagining of shakespeare”

You don’t get much Shakespeare at the fringe – something about five-act tragedies not quite fitting into the average hour-long slot – but when you do, they tend to be radically reimagined. That’s definitely true of Julius “Call Me Caesar” Caesar, Owen McCafferty’s one-man version of Shakespeare’s Roman play.

Russell Bolam’s rollicking production sees celebrated stand-up Andrew Maxwell make his theatrical debut, and is basically Shakespeare’s story entirely retold as bar-room anecdote. Caesar is a geezer, Mark Antony a lairy Northerner, Brutus a posh plonker. The audience is the mob: “Caesar! Caesar! Caesar!”, we chant.

A two-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, Maxwell isn’t exactly a polished performer – he fluffs and fumbles on several occasions and has an alarming tendency to roar at his audience – but he’s undoubtedly got charisma, and the coarse, casual nature of his storytelling actually suits the show, as does the brow-beading physicality. He’s good with dialects, too, slipping seamlessly from his native Northern Irish into an array of other accents.

Shakespeare doesn’t always sit well in August in Edinburgh – it often seems staid and sombre compared with the wealth of avant-garde, experimental stuff surrounding it. But this is still a solid show, and a commendable attempt to improve the original’s accessibility.

Oedipus review at King’s Theatre, Edinburgh – ‘devastatingly tense and captivatingly performed’


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Production Details
Production nameJulius “Call Me Caesar” Caesar
VenueGilded Balloon Patter Hoose
StartsJuly 31, 2019
EndsAugust 26, 2019
Running time1 hr
AuthorOwen Mccafferty
DirectorRussell Bolam
CastAndrew Maxwell
ProducerAlex Ferguson, Helena Doughty, Natalie Allison
VerdictA rough-and-ready one-man reimagining of Shakespeare’s Roman play, performed by celebrated stand-up Andrew Maxwell
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Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

Fergus Morgan

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