Julius Caesar Cast Bio | Afolabi

With the company now in rehearsals, we interview the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School actors cast to play alongside theatre professionals, Julian Glover and Lynn Farleigh in Julius Caesar.

Here we get to know Afolabi, one of the Theatre School’s talented rising stars.


Character_Cards_Afolabi_Alli2

Afolabi Alli
Metellus

BOVTS: Sam Craig/Si Crowell in Our Town (Circomedia), Robert Sideway in Our Country’s Good,Torvald Helmer in A Doll’s House Troilus in Troilus and Cressida, Horner in The Country Wife, Cecil in Vivat! Vivat Regina!, Gbatokai in Festen, Alan Strang in Equus.
Other: Hajj in Still Here (Edinburgh Fringe).
Pre BOVTS: Traveller in NYT Glasgow Commonwealth Games Village Welcome Ceremonies.

Where are you from and how did you get into acting?
I always did drama throughout school but it wasn’t until I joined the National Youth Theatre in my second year at university where I really started to take it seriously. I was lucky enough to be cast by the NYT as the male lead the Commonwealth games Village Welcome ceremonies. Then I following year I applied for drama school.

Who are you playing in Julius Caesar and what challenges have you faced in that role?
I’m playing Metellus Cimber. Building my character relationships with our modern context has been an interesting process.

What’s your favourite thing about training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School?
The training challenges you to always be inquisitive and make bold decisions.

How does it feel to be taking the Bristol Old Vic stage in your graduating show?
Amazing! It’s a real blessing to be in such a beautiful space.


This June we reunite with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School to present Shakespeare’s riveting political drama Julius Caesar. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

Julius Caesar Cast Bio | Harley

With the company now in rehearsals, we interview the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School actors cast to play alongside theatre professionals, Julian Glover and Lynn Farleigh in Julius Caesar.

Here we get to know Harley, one of the Theatre School’s talented rising stars.


Character_Cards_Harley_Viveash

Harley Viveash
Trebonius

BOVTS: Doctor Gibbs in Our Town (Circomedia); Blind Pew/Ben Gunn in Treasure Island, Angelo in Measure for Measure, Pinchwife/ Harcourt in The Country Wife, Lord Morton in Vivat! Vivat Regina!, Michael/ Helge in Festen, Alan Strang in Equus.
Pre BOVTS: Irwin in The History Boys, Owen Marshall in Semi-Monde, Judge Ives in Judgment at Nuremberg, Winston Smith in 1984, Gooper in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (all Oxford University Dramatic Society); Face in The Alchemist (Bradon Forest Theatre); Miles in Eight (Stroud Open-House Theatre), Dromio of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors (OUDS/ Thelma Holt International Tour).

Where are you from and how did you get into acting?
I’m from Swindon (so South West born and bred!) and was really lucky to go to a school that had its own theatre and a brilliant drama department. I started acting there, doing some Shakespeare, Commedia dell’Arte, and devising my own work. After that I studied at Oxford, where with the university drama society I performed in plays at the Oxford Playhouse, and took a tour of the Comedy of Errors to Tokyo. Since then I’ve been loving my training in Bristol, and can’t wait to get out into the professional world.

Who are you playing in Julius Caesar and what challenges have you faced in that role?
I’m playing Trebonius, one of the conspirators who plot to kill Caesar. Simon has done a great job with condensing the number of characters in the play – Shakespeare kind of fills the second act with people we’ve never seen before displaying unbelievable heroism. But that does mean I’m having to reconcile two very different roles in the original script (Trebonius and Titinius) into one whole, but it’s been an interesting challenge and one I feel only makes the character richer.

What’s your favourite thing about training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School?
I’ve learnt loads from the teachers I’ve worked with at the school, who’ve really challenged me to develop my craft after the last two years.  But I’d say the best thing about the training has been the other actors in my year – I’ve grown so much just from acting opposite them, and found a group of fab people I’ll really miss seeing and working with every day.

What’s the best thing about working with Julian Glover, Lynn Farleigh and John Hartoch?
Julian, Lynn and John have been brilliant to work with, not only offering so many words of wisdom, in terms of verse-speaking and handling the emotional weight of a scene, but also just as fellow members of the company. They’ve been incredibly humble and supportive throughout the process, treating us all as equal parts of the ensemble, and most of all being a really great laugh.

How does it feel to be taking Bristol Old Vic’s stage in your graduating show?
I’m thrilled to be acting on that stage in my last show as a student. The Bristol Old Vic has been the sight of my favourite productions I’ve seen in the city – Pink Mist, Long Day’s Journey into Night and The Crucible to name a few – and I certainly hope it’s not the last time I get to perform in this stunning theatre.


This June we reunite with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School to present Shakespeare’s riveting political drama Julius Caesar. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

Julius Caesar Cast Bio | Sarah

With the company now in rehearsals, we interview the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School actors cast to play alongside theatre professionals, Julian Glover and Lynn Farleigh in Julius Caesar.

Here we get to know Sarah, one of the Theatre School’s talented rising stars.


Character_Cards_Sarah_Livingstone

Sarah Livingston
Portia

BOVTS: Anna in Iceland (Directors’ Cuts, Wardrobe Theatre); Hostess in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Liz Morden/ Lt. William Dawes in Our Country’s Good, Christian/Little Girl in Festen, Isabella in Measure for Measure, Elizabeth I in Vivat! Vivat Regina!
Pre BOVTS: Writer/performer in The News (The Courtyard Theatre); The Moon/Storyteller/Old Woman in The Dead Moon (The Ugly Duck); Maeve Sullivan in Blue Stockings, Edda/various in Footlights Pantomime: The Princess and the Pea, Hamlet in Hamlet (all ADC Theatre).

Where are you from and how did you get into acting?
I’m from London! I was a member of a wonderful theatre club called Dragon Drama from the age of 4 right through til I was 18. It was a very magical and freeing space, where we listened to ancient stories and made up our own and played and danced like wild things; anything went. It very much informed so much of how I approach acting and theatre now.

Who are you playing in Julius Caesar and what challenges have you faced in that role?
I’m playing Portia, Pleb 4 and one of Antony’s soldiers. Portia’s scenes could easily just be a general wash of hysterical, angry shouting so it was important to find the humanity and love between her and Brutus that existed in their marriage before the beginning of the play and let that be present in those particularly tense scenes. It’s fun, too, filling out the backstories for Pleb 4 and Antony’s soldier and having the freedom to decide who they are.

What’s your favourite thing about training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School?
The friends I’ve made and the feeling of support you get from the school.

How does it feel to be taking the Bristol Old Vic stage in your graduating show?
Honestly, so cool. I think my Mum has told everyone we know about it.


This June we reunite with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School to present Shakespeare’s riveting political drama Julius Caesar. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

Julius Caesar Rehearsal Diary – Week 3

Week 3: From Standing to Walking…

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This third week was about moving from our Standing phase to our Walking one: completing initial blocking of the play, and began to sketch on some of the scenes in more detail. This week was the opportunity for the actors to bring the choices they have made about their characters into their scenes. We have worked in greater detail the characters’ relationships, especially between the conspirators and Caesar as well as between Brutus and Cassius, without whom the plot against Caesar wouldn’t be carried out.

As part of the work in detail, we worked for the first time on the funeral song. Eleanor House (Casca) is our musical director, and composed the melody for the funeral of Caesar using words from Shakespeare’s “Dirge for Fidele” from Cymbeline. Eleanor has created a very moving and solemn melody to mourn the death of the Dictator.

Julius Caesar - Rehearsal - Photo by Simon Purse (48) colour  Julius Caesar - Rehearsal - Photo by Simon Purse (124)

This week our company is now complete! Simon has begun rehearsals in the evenings with the supernumeraries who are joining the company as plebeians, Senators, and soldiers. They have started rehearsing on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, working on the world of the play, how politics work in our version of modern Italy, what the death of a dictator means in modern times, etc.  They began thinking about what the crowd mentality would be especially in a festival, such as the Lupercal in the beginning of the play, the difference between political plebeians, and fun- loving plebeians, and how they shift and change in opinion and energy throughout Brutus’s and Mark Antony’s speeches in Caesar’s funeral.

Mid-week we started working on the battle and suicide scenes. The battle scenes arrived as a treat in the rehearsal room as the actors were given guns and all of them were really excited to play with them! These battle scenes raised the question of making the story clear for the audience in terms of who is fighting for whom and against whom, and the solution was found in costume design. Indeed our fantastic costume designer Eleanor Bull had planned the need for clarity and it is thanks to her costume choices that we can distinguish Octavia and Antony’s national army from Brutus and Cassius’s rebel army.

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On Friday, we had our weekly session with Jonathan Waller and worked the battles scenes in greater detailin order to sharpen the story we are telling. The actors began to learn how to work as a squad sweeping and clearing areas, keeping each other safe. We also continued to work on the assassination of Caesarlarifying Brutus’ final choice to betray Caesar for the greater good of Rome, denying his personal feelings for what he believes is the betterment of the Republic.

Written by Jessica McVay

Photograby by Simon Purse


This June we reunite with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School to present Shakespeare’s riveting political drama Julius Caesar. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

Disabled Access Weekend at Bristol Old Vic: Looking to the future

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Every Arts location should be open to all. Open to explore, experience, and enjoy.

That’s why at Bristol Old Vic, as we venture towards the reopening of our exciting new Front of House space in 2018, we are continuing to keep the importance of accessibility at the forefront of our minds.

Having a 250 year old building certainly comes with its set of challenges when looking at accessibility, so we endeavour to ensure that all customers and audience members have a stress-free experience with us – from booking and general enquiries, through to their visit.

In the coming year, our website will be given a bit of a spring clean, but we still have plenty of info right at the touch of the button that could make your trip easier, and something that we are proud to continually add to and update.

Currently, the accessibility page of our website has info on seating, dates and details of specific access performances, and the logistics of visiting us. We are also working on a step count, photos that will show the route around our space, and hopefully some videos that might help familiarise you with the venue before you come along.

We have a dedicated mailing list to keep you updated on all our access performances as well as some extra tit bits about the work that we create and perform here. Additionally we have a dedicated access email address to contact, should you have any queries of your own.

Further to this, we are keen to take advantage of the opportunities we have to engage with you, our audiences, on a more regular basis.

Therefore, this weekend (9-11 Mar) and in support of Disabled Access Weekend, we are excited to offer you the chance to come and talk with us, and find out more about what we are working towards.

At 12.15pm on Sat 11 Mar, our Chief Executive, Emma Stenning, will be talking about the final stage of our redevelopment, our plans for the new Front of House areas and how we are approaching its accessibility to customers. This is an open talk and free to anyone who wants to come along. This talk will be held in the Backstage Bar of Bristol Old Vic, accessed via the Rackhay (BS1 4HJ). The talk will last approx. 20 mins and other staff with be free to chat with until 2.30pm.

Following the talk, our BSL matinee performance of Junkyard starts at 2.30pm. Tickets for Access Customers are £10 each and companions go free. You can book your place by visiting our Box office or giving us a call on 0117 9877877.