Bloody Julius Caesar. Not only does he gets ideas above his station and meet with a messy end but his murderers decide to wear his blood like a face mask, as if they weren't smeared and splattered enough.
However, it wasn't the sight of the red stuff in this RSC production that earned a collective gasp from the audience it was another death, bloodless but with a realistic snapping sound effect that had more than a few hands over mouths.
Who met with this end? Well that was, I suspect, a big contributing factor in the response but I won't spoil it.
Julius Caesar is a brutal play not just in the violence but in the questions of loyalty and justice.
The writing is on the wall in the opening scene where a celebratory mob are criticised for their fickleness having changed allegiance to Julius Caesar when he is victorious.
Brutus (Alex Waldmann) has the people behind him after his rational speech explaining the reasons for the murder but it is Mark Antony (James Corrigan) who really knows how to work the crowd.