Antony and Cleopatra

BDS_A&C_webClick here for photographs of this productionIn June 2013, the Bradfordians performed William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” at Monkton Farleigh Manor.

Programme for this production“Antony and Cleopatra” is rarely performed because it represents such a logistical challenge, but it undoubtably contains some of the greatest writing in the Shakespearian canon. Without wanting to give too much away, here is some background to the plot…

The Roman Empire extends from Europe to North Africa and parts of Asia.
These territories are ruled as a triumvirate by three great generals: Octavius Caesar in Europe, Lepidus in North Africa and Mark Antony in Asia. Antony has encountered the rich and powerful Egyptian queen, Cleopatra in Alexandria, a city affording a lifestyle of unsurpassed luxury and sensual delight.

Images of Antony and CleopatraAntony has fallen head over heels in love with Cleopatra and her way of life.
Meanwhile the Roman Empire is under threat and Caesar needs to defend his position against the increasingly powerful general, Pompey. Caesar persuades the reluctant Antony to leave Egypt and Cleopatra and return to Rome to help defend the empire. They form an uneasy alliance, ratified by the marriage of Antony to Caesar’s sister, Octavia.
Antony’s heart and thoughts, however, remain with Cleopatra and eventually he leaves his new wife and returns to Egypt.

In this play Shakespeare has written his greatest love story and although he used the uneasy alliance between Antony and Caesar as a backdrop, the focus always returns to the doomed relationship between Antony and Cleopatra……………

Director Simon Blacksell


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