Friday, 22 June 2018
Have now seen the whole of Imperium. By the end fairly tired of the generally sardonic tone of the production. Cicero played as a kind of affable Guardian-reading cynic, all worldly-wise and just camp enough to make it clear he's not one of the rough blighters. Loathed him by the curtain, when he made his final plummy-voiced and very quiet speech. Cicero was a much bigger person than portrayed here. Peter de Jersey is excellent as Caesar - malevolent, attractive and audible (Cicero is quite often inaudible - bit odd for the greatest orator of all time). Tiro, too (Joseph Kloska) - the narrator - kept the thing just about understandable. For those with a knowledge of the history (or even the books) some of the cutting created confusion. Finally, cheap topical laughs are I suppose one of the tics of theatre, but they take away from a story that has already been filleted of much of its gravity. Altogether rather a missed opportunity. The books, of course, are excellent.