Original Script By Shakespeare (Julius Caesar)

Adapted By: Thys Heydenrych

Directed By: Thys Heydenrych

Venue:  Wynand Mouton Theatre, UFS-Main Campus

Language: English & Afrikaans

Genre: Drama


Caesar adapted and directed by Thys Heydenrych, is a modern re-telling of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The production is in Afrikaans and English, with the title character portrayed by a woman.


Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is unique due to the lack of both villains and heroes. This adapted political thriller tells the story of the conspiracy against Caesar, her assassination and the defeat of her conspirators. The adaptation explores the ideas of women and leadership, political turmoil, fear and betrayal.


In the Roman Republic, political decisions were made through public debates and persuasive arguments, and in theory, the ideas that would be best for Rome would prevail rather than the will of one ruler; very similar to most countries’ political systems. Imagine a Trump, Malema, Zuma, Putin or Mugabe becoming king?


However, what happens when a nation purges their leader and replace him/her with a new leader? Does it not create new problems? Look at our current political environment. In Caesar, the assassination for the sake of democracy, as Brutus blindly believes, leads to civil war, mass slaughter, multiple executions and the installation of an emperor.


Brutus struggles with these issues; should he murder Caesar before she even does anything wrong? In his mind, it's better to sacrifice an innocent ruler than risk her becoming a dictator.


Upon Caesar’s triumphant return to Rome from the war against Pompeii, the Roman republic prepares to crown her king, which causes concern and dismay among some senators who fear that she will have too much power. Caius Cassius plots a conspiracy to murder Caesar, enlisting the support of Brutus, who is also concerned about Caesar becoming king. At Caesar's funeral, Brutus addresses the people and successfully explains the conspirators' motives. However, Antony speaks next and turns the mob against the conspirators, who are forced to flee from Rome. Antony with Caesar's niece, Octavia, take command of Rome and lead an army against the conspirators. At Philippi, Brutus and Cassius are defeated, and they kill themselves rather than to be captured.


Caesar, performed by 2nd-year drama students of the University of the Free State, is playing in the Wynand Mouton theatre, 21 – 23 November at 19h30. Tickets available at Computicket.

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