Youth Journalism International
Antony & Cleopatra, now playing at Hartford Stage, is a
show filled with drama and top-notch acting.
Mulgrew was tremendously convincing as Cleopatra, the demanding, scheming,
self-centered Egyptian queen.
originally penned by playwright William Shakespeare, the part of Cleopatra
required Mulgrew to have an amazing ability to probe the mind of the privileged
elite of the ancient world. Despite being surrounded by luxury far exceeding
that of the common person, she still felt plagued by the ill fortune brought on
by her own poor choices.
Douglas Thompson’s adept portrayal of Antony delivered the character’s vast
emotional fluctuations. He effectively switched between deep depression and near
maniacal happiness in a matter of seconds. The scene in which Antony kills
himself best showed his acting capability; such emotional range is not often
T. Charles Erickson/Photo provided.
exceptional acting included Kimberly Hebert Gregory as Cleopatra’s sympathetic
costumes in this play had a modern influence, but still maintained a feel that
would have been normal during Shakespeare’s time.
the soldiers were wearing Goth clothing, including Pompey, played by Alexander
Cendese. Others sported hats and shoes that people are wearing today. The
Messenger, played by Jake Green, wore a modern messenger’s bag and reflective
clothing like many modern couriers do. He provided humor and allowed for nice
transitions from scene to scene.
were also the costumes that one would expect: Roman skirts and dresses,
traditional Egyptian dress, and helmets and armor.
musical interludes, while recorded, nevertheless added significantly to the
excitement of the play. Live drumming by some of the actors, as well as a brief
sounding of a horn by Thompson, also helped.
interesting aspect was the Nile running through the middle of the stage. It was
a physical boundary between opposing sides during some scenes, and was often
used as a prop, such as when Antony was “drowning” Menas, a pirate played by
LeRoy McClain, who later allied with Caesar.
was complex. It is a three-side stage, and, sans the river, center and downstage
were scarce. Upstage, however, was packed. Two staircases ascended upwards, one
from up stage right, the other from up stage left, and met at a glass platform
that overlooked it all.
this was a large metal outline of a pyramid, and behind that, the Egyptian sun.
On up stage right, the city of Alexandria was represented by Cleopatra’s throne,
and Cleopatra herself (and her servants) when they weren’t onstage.
left represented Rome, where three tall pillars overlooked two white thrones,
each occupied at some point or another by Antony and Caesar.
by Tina Landau, Antony & Cleopatra
runs through November 7.
Youth Journalism International student David Katz contributed to this review.