Antony & Cleopatra

by William Shakespeare / 2011, Webber Douglas Studio, Central / Directed by Ben Naylor with Vicky Araico / Set and costume design by Nadege Adlam / Lighting by Edmund McKay / Music and sound by Paul Sartin and Luke Pajak / Fight direction by Rachel Bown-Williams

This epic, thrust-stage production of Shakespeare’s tragedy, with a cast of 18, used simple costumes and vivid lighting to differentiate the worlds of Rome (metallic and maritime hues) and Egypt (bright golds and sand), with fluid movement between locations and dramatic moods. Roman military costumes were eclectic: elements of contemporary and 19th-century uniforms, with helmet-masks inspired by 300; Egyptian costume harmonised a variety of Japanese, Indian, East Asian and Middle Eastern garments, and referenced pre-Raphaelite classicist painting. Given the play’s Mediterranean context, the stage was designed to recall a boat; it seemed to float above the theatre floor. Music and soundscape were performed live on acoustic instruments (and objects) referencing folk and traditional sea-shanty.

Photography by Luke Pajak