Shakespeare's famous play Julius Caesar is coming to Columbus with a twist. This classic political story will be set in present-day Africa with a cast of black British actors and Akintayo Akinbode's contemporary West African music. This new twist was interpreted by the Royal Shakespeare Company's new artistic director Gregory Doran and received five-star reviews last year in the United Kingdom. The plot aligns closely with the original version including the conspiracy against, and assassination of Caesar followed by the defeat of his conspirators. It portrays a struggle for Democracy and two men who are united by political violence. Doran says that setting the play in Africa was partly inspired by Nelson Mandela, who said that he felt a connection between the play and his continent.
The Ohio State University and the Royal Shakespeare Company are collaborating as an international relationship in order to bring more RSC productions to the United States. CAPA is also partnering with them to put on the show in Columbus.
The show premiers at the Southern Theatre, 21 E. Main St., on Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30. Evening shows will also occur on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a matinee showing on Sunday at 2. Tickets range from $38 to $68 and can be purchased at the CAPA Ticket Center, 39 E. State St., ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 614-469-0939.