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Imperium: The Cicero Plays

Based on the Cicero Trilogy by Robert Harris

Adapted by Mike Poulton

Reviews of Imperium: The Cicero Plays

  • Gielgud Theatre

    London

    Until 8 Sep 2018

  • Running time:

    2 hrs 44 mins + 15 mins interval

Gielgud Theatre, London

★★★★★

'All the panache and pace of a Netflix box set'

WhatsonStage

★★★★

'Strikingly relevant. A must-see drama'

The Times

'Richard McCabe is magnificent as Cicero'

The Times

★★★★

'The West Wing in blood-soaked togas'

Evening Standard

'A fine sense of spectacle and a strong narrative pulse'

Evening Standard

★★★★

'The RSC's staging of Robert Harris's novels rolls out with the pace and grip of a political box-set'

Financial Times

★★★★

'Chillingly pertinent. There is an imperative to see Imperium'

Telegraph

★★★★

'This Roman epic is brought to glorious, gory, vivid life'

Metro

Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

★★★★★

‘A Roman triumph for the RSC’

Guardian

‘An exhilarating and timely political drama’

Guardian

‘Gregory Doran’s production… One of the finest achievements of the Royal Shakespeare Company in recent years’

Guardian

‘Cicero…is beautifully acted by Richard McCabe in a career-defining performance’

Guardian

‘A glittering array of performances’

Guardian

‘Siobhan Redmond excellently shows the hidden steel of Terentia, while Eloise Secker, as both Clodia and Fulvia, suggests that…vengeful rage is not the property of any particular gender’

Guardian

‘This is a tremendous show that…takes us to the heart of ancient Rome’

Guardian

★★★★★

‘Gregory Doran’s production of Poulton’s colossal version of Harris’ three-novel epic covers itself with its own kind of glory… the sheer scale of the enterprise inspires awe’

Whatsonstage

‘Poulton’s…customary combination of verbal dexterity, clear storytelling and hefty doses of leavening wit only serves to accentuate the brilliance of the undertaking’

whatsonstage

‘The whole extensive ensemble plays crucial parts in unfolding the vast canvas intelligibly and with a relentless drive to entertain’

whatsonstage

‘At the heart of these two shows is a double act that thoroughly deserves their standing ovation… Richard McCabe and Joseph Kloska play Cicero and his secretary with a joyous complementary verve, sparking off each other explosively’

whatsonstage

★★★★

‘The RSC and Mike Poulton here repeat their trick of turning fictional accounts of historical power games into plain-speaking, propulsive, epic theatre’

times

★★★★

'A masterly performance by Richard McCabe... a beautifully judged Cicero'

observer

'Siobhan Redmond makes an intelligent, stalwart Terentia'

observer

★★★★

‘Richard McCabe gives a superb central performance’

Independent

‘Master-adapter, Mike Poulton…excels again’

independent

‘Dynamic epic theatre…presented with terrific energy and clarity by Gregory Doran’s production’

independent

‘Joe Dixon is disturbingly enraged as Catiline and then magnetically wild and dangerous as Antony'

independent

‘Apart from a few lines in Caesar, Shakespeare ignores this great statesman almost completely. Putting him centre-stage for fascinating epic, the Royal Shakespeare Company is handsomely redressing the balance.’

independent

★★★★

'Richard McCabe commands the day as Cicero'

sunday times

★★★★

‘McCabe ensures that he’s engaging and complex, a potent and authoritative figure who’s nonetheless capable of appearing fragile’

Evening standard

‘Joe Dixon is sinister as Cataline and then furiously blunt as Mark Antony’

evening standard

‘Poulton writes short, vivid scenes…Anthony Ward’s design is dominated by a giant ball suspended over the stage, which glows or shimmers in keeping with the story’s mood’

evening standard

★★★★

‘Poulton’s adaptation expertly condenses and makes clear all the complex machinations and power plays… it’s quite a feat’

The Stage

‘In the demanding central role of Cicero, Richard McCabe is incredibly engaging, quick of mind and tongue, but also alert to Cicero’s flaws’

The Stage

‘Pierro Niel-Mee puts in two brilliantly different performances as the charismatic Patrician Clodius and the steely Agrippa’

The Stage