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Why James McAvoy needs to tread the boards again soon

PhotoLast night was one of those rare, rare theatre experiences, a one-off event that in just five minutes cemented its place in memory and left the audience silently begging for more.

James McAvoy stepped onto the Trafalgar Studios stage and delivered a speech from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. It was the speech Antony gives at the funeral of Julius Caesar and from the moment he opened his mouth he held the packed out theatre in the palm of his hand.

So impassioned was the performance, pregnant with raw emotion: grief, bitterness and tenderness that the meaning of Shakespeare's words could not have been clearer. So impassioned was the performance that it felt like the entire play had unfolded in front of you, in just a few minutes. Just recalling it brings a flood of emotion.

When Antony requests that the citizens make a ring around the corpse of Caesar, McAvoy dragged some unsuspecting audience members from their front row seats to form a ring, never missing a beat the whole time.

At the end he was panting and shaking with emotion and the applause appropriately rapturous. There was only one curtain call and it was over, leaving a big hole in the theatre calendar that needs to be filled by a full blown production of Julius Caesar with McAvoy at Antony.

Not long after he was spotted walking away from the theatre with director Jamie Lloyd as if those five minutes hadn't ever existed and if I didn't have the listing (pictured) I wouldn't believe it myself.

As the five speeches demonstrated (yes there were four others) Shakespeare is hard to perform and there are good performers, there are great performers (Deborah Findlay) and then there are the likes of James McAvoy. Get him back on the stage. Please.

Related posts:

James McAvoy's Macbeth - first thoughts

Jame McAvoy's Macbeth - second thoughts

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