Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Life of Markus Antonius and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony from the time of the Parthian War to Cleopatra's suicide. The major antagonist is Octavius Caesar, one of Antony's fellow triumvirs and the future first emperor of Rome.
Octavius Caesar (later renamed to Augustus Caesar, son of the murdered Julius Caesar), Antony, and Lepidus form the Roman triumvirate that rules the Western world. Lepidus leaves the triumvirate, and Caesar and Antony are left to rule the world. Antony, though married to Fluvia, lives in Alexandria, Egypt with his mistress Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt. Fueled by a disgust at his lifestyle in Egypt and anger over the wars caused by Antony's relatives, Caesar calls Antony home to Rome. Antony agrees, but only after Fluvia dies of an illness. Once in Rome, Caesar and Antony try to make amends through the marriage of Antony to Caesar's sister Octavia.
Antony soon deserts Octavia, however, and returns to live with Cleopatra. Caesar, enraged, vows to attack and regain control of Egypt from Antony and Cleopatra. Caesar's army is more powerful and more skillful, and soon approaches defeat of Antony. Enobarbus, Antony's best friend, deserts him and joins Caesar's army. However, Enobarbus becomes overcome with regret and remorse for leaving Antony, and kills himself near Caesar's headquarters. Antony, facing defeat, asks Eros (another friend) to kill him. Eros cannot, and instead kills himself. Antony then kills himself by falling on his sword. Cleopatra, in grief over Antony's death and determined never to fall under Caesar's command commits suicide by allowing poisonous asps to bite her. Cleopatra's main attendant (Charmian) dies in the same manner, while her second attendant (Iras) dies from stress and grief over Cleopatra's death.
Photograph by David Corio
Director - Ceri Sherlock
Guest Director - Malcolm Edwards