On Tour: Burt Casear

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The Independent Culture
There are 11 actors in the Julius Caesar company and we play the crowd as well, so touring is quite demanding. Also we have a set that's closer to an assault course than a replica of Ancient Rome, so afterwards we sit and count our bruises.

The greatest discovery for me during this tour was Hull. It's a wonderful city with a lot of history to it and a beautiful old town that I never knew about - comparable to Bristol or York. The saddest place was Ashton-under-Lyne - if you've seen Ken Loach's film Raining Stones, you get the picture. We didn't meet any loan sharks or witness any murders, but it's a place that has that same feeling of depression.

The funniest digs we've encountered this time were in Swansea. Five of us had booked into a B & B a stone's throw from the theatre. We arrived there and the place was in total darkness. We knocked and knocked, and finally two guys appeared. They said: 'Are you the people who are supposed to be staying here? Well, we took over today: the previous landlord was dismissed for malpractice.'

Inside all was dark and the air was foul - you felt the place hadn't been disturbed for decades. We only stayed the one night. That's the sort of time when you think 'What a life]'. But mostly I love touring. I find the audiences less jaded than in London. They give you your three hours on the stage, and then they'll judge you. They don't judge you before the curtain goes up. I like the fact that every venue is different in size and acoustics: the play becomes a new game each time, a new test match.

Burt Caesar plays Brutus in the ESC's 'Julius Caesar'. The production is at the Shaw, London this week (071-388 1394) then on tour to 26 March 1994

(Photograph omitted)