Adaptation of Shakespeare's play.
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After the murder of her lover Julius Caesar, Egypt's Queen Cleopatra needs a new ally. She seduces his probable successor Mark Antony. This develops into real love and slowly leads to a war with the other possible successor, Octavius.
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First the good: this production is traditional: set in Ancient Rome, with appropriate costumes. Otherwise, it stank. Almost none of the actors could deliver a Shakespeare line. In Anthony and Cleopatra, some lines are rhymes, some are in blank pentameter, and some are in prose. Here it hardly mattered, since the director and actors had no respect for words. The two leads were the worst offenders. Cleopatra (Janet Suzman) was light-weight, shrill, cheap -- far from regal. She would howl out a word or two from a line, letting all the other words fall by the wayside. Always she was mugging for the camera, with limited facial expressions to mug with. She seemed spiteful, silly, and quite frankly unattractive. Anthony was almost as bad, in different ways. He tried to invest almost every line with gut-wrenching emotion -- bawling out line after line, that should simply have been spoken. With lines blurted out, it was hard to understand what was happening, except that the actors were terribly emotional about something or other. Whenever someone told a joke, and there is a lot of humor in Au0026P, the actors would laugh and laugh. Not funny. It's we, the audience, who ought to do the laughing. None of the poetry came through. The famous description of Cleopatra by Enobarbus (
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