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A Mermaid’s production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

Directed by Molly Luckhurst and produced by George Cooper, Mermaid’s production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar was utterly striking, brimming and spilling with emotional charge. Aided by a dynamic cast, it excelled in capturing the fear and paranoia produced and instilled into people by the state.  

As articulated in Cassius’s prophecy that Caesar’s murder will be “acted over in states unborn and accents yet unknown”, there is no doubt that Caesar is an ever-relevant play. This adaption, though, breathed new life into its script through its setting in the political upheaval of 1960s America. With the cast donning 60s-style suits and Americana-esque election posters dotted around the space, the theme of power corruption so present in the script enmeshed itself into our own world of contemporary politics in just the most amazingly uncomfortable way. The application of the play’s themes to our modern lives was felt particularly keenly as the line between the play and our contemporary world was almost blurred as the cast was frequently enmeshed in audience space, acting from audience seats or balconies.

I really found the strongest feature of the play to be its pace. Moments of exploding tension were placed beautifully alongside hollows of stillness, really giving a forceful ebb and flow to the play. Caesar’s murder, for example, was followed by Piper Richardson as his bereaved wife Calpurnia slowly crossed the stage to sit silently with a cigarette. It was a beautiful directorial addition. The pace was helped along by slick scene changes, coordinated without a single blackout, and audial elements – slippages of voices and shouts were heard from offstage as actors filtered in. Despite the production having to grapple with a location change, the expanse that is Younger Hall really felt the smallest it ever has, the stage action utterly filling the space.

The quality of every member of the cast was equally as strong. The unequivocal highlight of the play to me was felt in the on-stage dynamic between Brutus (Marcus Judd) and Cassius (Natalie Westgor), who bounced from each other seamlessly, energetically threading both love and tension through every interaction in a way that proved utterly captivating. Particularly strong performances were also seen in Lauryn Perkins-Monney’s embodiment of Portia with all of her strong softness, and in Freddie Lawson as the title role.

I spoke to Freddie following the play – “my experience was wholly positive” he recounts, “and more than anything else I was just happy to be involved, especially because it was a passion project of a couple of fourth years. It was obviously tough with the space change and everything (also 80% of the cast and crew having been out the night before) but everyone pulled together and made something really cool.”

Overall, Caesar’s elegantly handled evocation of contemporary conflict was stunningly done, directed with detail and complimented by a deft and able cast.

Emily Christaki

St. Andrews '25

Hey! i'm emily, a second year at St Andrews studying history and IR. In my free time I am utterly obsessed with art, particularly painting, and music.