Following his stunning RSC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (2013/14), Mike Poulton turns his pen to the thrilling world of Ancient Rome with a brand-new version of Robert Harris’ best-selling Cicero Trilogy. This epic event will be staged as six plays, presented in two performances, each with two intervals, and will be directed by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran. Taking on the title role of Cicero, we welcome back RSC Associate Artist Richard McCabe whose most recent work for the RSC was A Tender Thing (2012) and Twelfth Night (2009).
Cicero, the greatest orator of his age, devoted all his energy and cunning to preserve the rule of law, and defend Rome’s Republic against the predatory attacks of political rivals, discontented aristocrats, and would-be military dictators.
Imperium follows Cicero’s triumphs and disasters, through power struggles, civil wars, and personal highs and lows, told through the eyes of Tiro, his loyal secretary. A backstage view of Rome at its most bloody and brutal.
Part II: Dictator
Cicero has retired from politics. Julius Caesar – dictator, and commander of Rome’s armies – is assassinated. Cicero sees his death as an opportunity to restore the Republic but the assassins, Brutus and Cassius, dither as power in Rome begins to fall into the lap of Mark Antony.
Determined to prevent Antony imposing a military dictatorship on Rome, Cicero forms an unlikely alliance with the 19-year-old great-nephew and heir of Julius Caesar. Confident that he can control the boy and use him to destroy Mark Antony, Cicero sets out to save the Republic.
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