In this episode, we discuss the Groundling Theatre Company’s current production of Julius Caesar; the genius of Moya O’Connell, André Sills, and Michelle Giroux; and the influence of Nicholas Hytner.
In this episode, we discuss the Groundling Theatre Company‘s production of Julius Caesar, which continues to run at Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre until February 2. This production is heavily inspired by Nicholas Hytner’s 2018 production (which we discussed here) of the play, featuring similar approaches to gender-swapping characters, as well as much of the same blocking and sets.
Directed by Chris Abraham, the Groundling production is in the round in a large space with high ceilings, often with the effect of it feeling like an intimate arena. Unlike Hytner’s production, this is very much Cassius’s show, and Moya O’Connell regularly steals every scene she’s in right out from under Johnstone’s Brutus. André Sills, as Casca, also shines, having been given short shrift as Coriolanus in Stratford’s Coriolanus. And Michelle Giroux, who previously played Marc Antony at Stratford in 2018, shines in a series of smaller parts, including as Brutus’s wife.
Groundling is an independent off-shoot of Ontario’s Stratford Festival, featuring many of the same actors and directors that appear at Stratford; their productions are mounted during Stratford’s off-season. Last year, Groundling produced a revelatory production of Lear starring Seana McKenna. For a history of past productions, visit their website here.
Show notes and recommended listening
- We discussed Nicholas Hytner’s production of Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre in depth in episode 23, which you can listen to here.
- We discussed Ontario Stratford Festival’s Coriolanus starring André Sills in a pair of episodes, which you can listen to here.
- Read Mary Angela Rowe’s review of the Ontario Stratford Festival’s 2018 production of Julius Caesar here.
- Read Mary Angela Rowe’s review of the Ontario Stratford Festival’s 2015 production of Pericles here.
- Read Alex Heeney on Stratford’s need for fresh directorial blood here.
Host: Alex Heeney
Guest: Mary Angela Rowe
Editor: Edward von Aderkis