Saturday, 25 January 2014

Cleopatra at the Hope Theatre, Islington


It is rare for Egyptologists to get to spend time with the people they study; yes, you can meet them in museums across the planet, but on the whole (I've not been to every museum), they tend to be rather unresponsive (wrapped up in their own little worlds, you might say). So it was with great pleasure yesterday that I attended a performance of the play "Cleopatra" at the Hope Theatre in Islington. For two hours, I enjoyed the company of Cleopatra (Shelley Lang) in Rome, as she used her charms to influence Brutus, Octavian, and Mark Antony for her own ends. Pregnant with Julius Caesar's child, and awaiting a senate vote that would allow him to marry her, Cleopatra was waiting impatiently for a visit from her lover, and indeed, of any news from outside the palace walls. With unease in the streets, talk of assassination, and prophecies of doom in the marketplace, she would be waiting a long time. It was the Ides of March after all...
A fantastic, witty and intimate play, with fabulous performances from the entire company, I'd recommend anyone make the trip to Islington, as I did, to enjoy the company of one of history's most alluring and enigmatic superstars. My favorite line? "Pharaohs don't make promises." I should include that in my next edition of The Pharaoh, Life at Court and on Campaign...
You can catch Cleopatra at the Hope Theatre in Islington until 1st February 2014. You can find them here: http://kingsheadtheatre.com/hope-theatre.html