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Directed by Richard Murphet
Production Design by Dale Ferguson

01 AUG — 01 SEP 2023

Approx. 120 minutes with no interval
fortyfivedownstairs Theatre

Melbourne Shakespeare Company return to fortyfivedownstairs with their exhilarating contemporary reimagining of Shakespeare’s original political thriller Julius Caesar. A divisive leader who’s desire for power poses a threat to republicanism is violently assassinated, civil war erupts and through the chaos a new leader must rise to fill the void. 

Directed by Richard Murphet with design by Tony Award Nominated designer Dale Ferguson, Julius Caesar is destined to be a striking new production that you won’t want to miss. 

"Shakespeare's political potboiler delivered with clarity, purposeful energy and a strong understanding of the text. ★★★★" — Limelight

Director's Note

It is unnerving how relevant the action of this play about the crisis in Roman politics is for our own times. How to deal with an alarmingly popular leader who is ready to ride the wave of his success through to absolute power? And if we DO decide to deal with it (through assassination or whatever) are we aware of what reaction the ensuing ‘dogs of war’ might release?


Interconnected with the political is of course the personal. In the emotional triangles of commitment between Brutus-Portia-Cassius, on the one side, and Caesar-Calpurnia-Mark Antony, on the other, we experience the human tensions that reflect the political action. And in the character of Brutus we have the first of Shakespeare’s honourable, indecisive men – a modernist anti-hero.


This is a great play to work on. More than any other play of its time, it is a drama of the people – the workers, the street cleaners, the servants, the poets, the soldiers caught up in this battle that is not of their own making. We kept being reminded of the suffering citizens of Ukraine. But we have not pointed any specific instance. We allow the play to speak for itself. We hope you are carried along by the power of its inexorable drive.


— Richard Murphet

"With a finely honed gift for Shakespeare’s language, Herbert is utterly compelling"
— Simon Paris


Click on Cast Images to read bios

"Melbourne Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar is masterful, electric, compelling, and simply, unforgettable." — Milk Bar Mag


Jennifer Sarah Dean

Artistic Director

Michael Mack


Richard Murphet


Dale Ferguson

Production Designer

Harry Dowling

Stage Manager

Grace Ferguson

Composer & Sound Designer

Kris Chainey

Lighting Designer

Finn Mcleish

Assistant Stage Manager

Seamus Allan

Marketing Co-ordinator

Aislinn Naughton

Costume Assistant

Savanna Wegman

Costume Assistant

John Collopy

Venue Technical Manager

Genevieve Fry


Jack Burton


Tiernan Maclaren

Assistant Set Designer

Joshua Bell

Fight Choreographer

With Thanks To

Kevin Hughes

Jonnathan Peck

TW, D, T & P LLC

Hugh Maclaren

Cameron Lukey

The Alex Theatre

Jak Scanlon

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