Julius ‘Call Me Caesar’ Caesar, Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose, Edinburgh * * *
What makes the piece is the choice of storyteller, Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell, upon whose breathless, excitable performance style the show’s success ultimately depends.
If it all feels crammed-in, and that desperate efforts are being made to get to the end – including, at one point, rousing the baying crowd (those watching, in other words) to hail the protagonist with chants of “Caesar!” – then that’s deliberate. After all, you only get an hour to tell a story in Edinburgh, and Shakespeare won’t fit unless you get a move on, which is what Maxwell does.
He delivers the piece as though it’s a late-night stand-up set, giving each character a particular accent and set of over-exaggerated mannerisms (none of them Italian); and audience members might wish they had been a fly on the wall while Russell Bolam was directing the piece, to gauge just how much steering the two-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee needed, and how much he just ran with it.
Until 26 August (not 25)