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Publisher's Summary

In this BBC full-cast production, Julius Caesar is triumphant after his victory over the sons of Pompey. But as bad omens and weather plague Rome, even his most loyal friends are starting to see the signs....

Political intrigue and fierce battle rage in this tense and dynamic production in which a country is torn apart under the legacy of Julius Caesar, 'the colossus'.

Gerard Murphy, Stella Gonet, Samantha Bond and Nicholas Farrell star in Shakespeare's turbulent Roman history. 

BBC radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly-formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard.

In this acclaimed BBC Radio Shakespeare series, each play is introduced by Richard Eyre, former Director of the Royal National Theatre. Revitalised, original and comprehensive, this is Shakespeare for the modern day.

©1999 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)1999 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about Julius Caesar

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The BBC Radio Theatre Does Caesar Honor

Well produced. Well acted. Shakespeare in his grave does 'plaud this show of arms, without hero, without heart does fall. Well met this is and is met with great honor.

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Great performance

I've listened to maybe a dozen of these BBC Shakespeares and Julius Caesar is one of the best. I think Caesar, Brutus and Cassius in particular are extraordinarily good. Mark Anthony isn't quite as strong, and the ostensibly 1924 setting seems superfluous (you can hear that the characters are driven in cars and microphones are used during Caesar's funeral but that's about it). But really this is just nitpicking. Highly recommend

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Nice listen

Set in the modern times so took me a while to get it but the language is Shakespearean. Very well done.

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  • Philip
  • 12-11-08

why the 1930s?

What posessed the BBC to update the setting? They decided to set this in 1930s Rome- which I suppose is as sensible as setting Twelth Night on the riviera- but that works and this doesn't- we get jeep doors slamming, machine gun fire and (worst of all) microphone hiss in Mark Antony's speech, but still the shakespeare text is so saturated with the swish of togas, flints for lighting candles etc. that the ancient world seeps through- like blood from Caesar's corpse.

In short, nothing was gained by specifying the period so exactly- and the great beauty of radio is that settings can be kept nebulous.

But once I had gritted my teeth I found I quite enjoyed it. Superb acting- almost unbearably so- Mark Anotony is so horribly oily.

A pity, though, that the casting doesn't match with the BBC 'Antony and Cleopatra.'

5 people found this helpful