York theatre company brings Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra to life

Antony and Cleopatra brought to life in new York production of Shakespeare’s epic drama

York Shakespeare Project is producing the Bard’s tumultuous story of romance and warfare that spans the Roman world, Antony and Cleopatra, which will be performed at York’s John Cooper Studio from 28 October – 2 November.

The production will contrast the private passions with the public duties amidst a growing background of political turmoil and conflict, staging the action in a war room, with musical accompaniment reflecting and commenting on the action.

This will be the 36th play that the York-based charity has produced as part of its mission to perform all Shakespeare’s known plays over 20 years. This year, the charity has been named one of the Lord Mayor’s charities of the year to help raise funds to complete this unique community project.

Director Leo Doulton, directing his first play for York Shakespeare Project, says "Antony and Cleopatra is an iconic play, and yet it’s performed incredibly rarely - so it’s a privilege to get a chance to work on it. It’s one of those pieces that seems to cover everything human, soaring between high politics and the most tender personal feelings, and how the two come into conflict in times of crisis.

“For me, that tension is central to the play - the entire ensemble of characters are forced to decide between their private loves and goals or their duty to society and state. As ever, Shakespeare refines every element into a searing legend, whether that’s the musings of emperors or the banter of peasants.

“I’m particularly excited to be working with York Shakespeare Project on this one - their collected experience and love of Shakespeare is bringing light to every corner of this play and its enormous cast of characters."

Antony and Cleopatra tells the story of the love affair of Mark Antony, one of three rulers of Rome, and Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Neglecting his empire in favour of living with Cleopatra in Egypt, Antony is summoned back to Rome, where he clashes with another ruler, Octavius, setting in motion a chain of events that lead to conflict and tragedy.

Antony and Cleopatra takes place from Monday 28 October – Saturday 2 November 2019 at John Cooper Studio (41 Monkgate, York, YO31 7PB), with performances at 7.30pm and a matinee at 2.30pm on 2 November. Tickets are available now from York Theatre Royal box office and online at https://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/show/antony-and-cleopatra/.Tickets are £15 adults / £10 for those on means-tested benefits / £7.50 under-18s. The performance on Monday 28 October is an open dress rehearsal and is just £5 per ticket. The performances are suitable for ages 12 and over.