Writer’s block is the bane of many writers; whether you’re staring at a blank page, hitting a wall, or just simply losing your steam it’s no enviable experience. However, if said writing is based upon a historical event there’s a simple solution. Time travel.
The Ides of March is a meta, witty, fourth wall-breaking romp of intelligent theatre. The premise is simple, William Shakespeare (Kieran Bullock) travels back in time with Cardenio (Paul Brown) to witness the murder of Julius Caesar (also Bullock). Unfortunately, Shakespeare makes a grave mistake, he becomes a suspect to the Detectivus (Jennifer B Ashley) and the Pomodoro (James Rosier). Mayhem ensues as the real culprits Cassius (Ashley), Brutus (Rosier), and Casca (Brown) try to sabotage Shakespeare’s every move to cover up their crime.
Slightly akin to that of an episode of Doctor Who, the escapades of these time-travellers are much richer in comedy. With only four key actors playing numerous roles (a great source of laughter) it’s commendable how easy it is to follow. The four reinvent themselves with ease utilising either a noir-like accent, a costume change, or a shift in mannerisms to switch between them distinctly. Their props and stage dressing are minimal but creative, and the intricacies of character changeovers (particularly in the final act) are handled exceptionally.
The cast of performers are well-rounded and bring plenty of charisma and talent to the stage. Ashley beams as Detectivus and Bullock’s hilariously narcissistic interpretation of Shakespeare as a struggling writer constantly taking notes runs the risk of being tired, but never does.
Certain elements of the narrative are slightly predictable in points, there’s the odd moment where you can expect it to go a certain way and it does. There is plenty to love with the odd twist or surprise that you won’t see coming as The Ides of March is a fantastic stage production that is bound to entertain.
4.5 / 5 stars
Words by Isaac Freeman
The Ides of March is showing at the Bakehouse Theatre until March 14
For more information and to book tickets click here
I take a seat at Worldline Corporations in Bas3ment Studios at City Cross. I am advised that I will be tested for my eligibility to work with the time travelling firm. I am assigned an era, a job, and told what to expect.
In contrast to other Fringe shows I have been to this year, Worldline Corporations is the strangest one yet. It takes you on a time travelling journey but is completely digital. There is no one performing here, it’s all what you see on the screen.
This show delves into your subconsciousness and fears, focusing on loss of reality and fear of the unknown. Conveyed words onscreen, the simulation causes you to question your choice in travelling through time.
I discovered at the end of the show that this was all part of the experience. I don’t wish to spoil the show, but the finale is definitely a conversation starter. I will say that, if I wanted to, I qualify to join Worldline Corporations.
The aesthetics of this show had a very eighties look and feel to them. Everything from the computer on screen to the voices used had me seeing this performance as being inspired by eighties computer tech and time travel. Even though it appeared dated by today’s standards, I really enjoyed this as it complemented the story and gave it a unique style.
The show runs for about 20 minutes, the shortest show I’ve seen this year. Sometimes length isn’t the most important factor in a show but this one is well worth the experience.
Worldwide Corporations was an enjoyable and thought-provoking experience. I found its storytelling methods futuristic and innovative, all the while striking at my subconscious mind. While their run has finished, this is a unique and well-designed experience. Check out their website below for information about future shows.
Words by Cameron Lowe
The Ides of March is a deeply enjoyable play that draws upon a host of cultural references to put layer upon layer on an already tightly-plotted and playful show.
With a cast of four and a room upstairs from Treasury 1860, the team prove deft in building ancient Rome and all its populace from the deep recesses of history.
Sadly, their run is limited to three shows at the Adelaide Fringe, the last being Sundays the 17th’s (today at time of publication) performance. After the performance the audience was informed this was their first sell-out show which seems absurd for a play of this quality. This a piece of theatre that draws upon things as broad as Doctor Who, ancient Roman history, hardboiled detective stories, and Shakespeare yet requires no assumed knowledge to enjoy. If you know nothing of Shakespeare’s works or the history of Rome, you will learn something. If you are already familiar with all this, you’ll enjoy hidden facets and jokes. This is a play for everyone and does an excellent job at managing to keep the interest and enjoyment of all in the audience.
The play moves at speed, making full use of its 50 minutes to play with history and with the expectations of theatre. Every element that could pose an issue for the production such as their limited cast (standing in for the majority of the ancient Roman populations), props, or simple limitations of the stage, are mined for comic material.
The piece plays with convention, finding humour in the nature of theatre, including an unexpected nod to audience participation. It’s clear from early on that this is a well-polished performance that plays with expectation and knows exactly how to use it to yield the greatest results. The audience was as diverse in age as possible and yet they managed to engage everyone at all times as there is something for everyone to enjoy.
A true highlight of the Fringe, be sure to catch The Ides of March before it’s gone. Hopefully they will be back next year and should they be, you can be certain tickets will not be so easy to come by.
Word by Liam McNally
The Ides of March is playing at Treasury 1860 until February 17. Tickets available here.