The Arkangel production, however, manages it, particularly with Estelle Kohler's Cleopatra, with Ciaran Hinds' Anthony nearly as good. The non-human soundscape of the production is very impressive, with scenes in Egypt or in Rome introduced by appropriately different music, and sounds of chirping crickets in the background at night.
The human soundscape is a bit odd, though. Enobarbus, who has all the best lines in the play, is played by David Burke, who is from Liverpool, with a strong and mostly convincing Ulster accent; while Ciaran Hinds, who actually is from Belfast, plays Anthony as a gritty English soldier. Other minor characters have a hodge-podge of different regional vowels. It's frankly confusing, and an opportunity uncharacteristically missed by Arkangel, who previously delivered an all-Scottish Macbeth and a Comedy of Errors with Irish Ephesians and English Syracusans - given the fact that there's a similar binary divide between Egyptians and Romans here, it's just frankly peculiar that Clive Brill and co didn't try and make something more structured out of the accent choices available. I imagine this bothers me more than it would most listeners.
One other problem with the play - and this is Shakespeare rather than Arkangel - is that there are too many minor characters. In fact I think the original script may have mixed up Proculeius and Dolatella at the end, unless Anthony is misinformed about Cæsar's team, or just being mean to Cleopatra for tricking him into suicide. If I were producing it I'd want to trim and combine a few of the dramatis personæ.
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