Who Rufus and Octavian were

I’ve made a research on the Internet to find out who the real Rufus and Octavian, played by Oliver Johnstone respectively in Imperium Part I and II, were. I’m going to read the books by Robert Harris very soon.

Marcus Caelius Rufus, (born 88 bc, at Interamna [modern Teramo, Italy]—died 48, Thurii, Bruttium), Roman politician and close friend of Cicero. He is possibly also the Rufus whom the poet Catullus accused of stealing his mistress Clodia.

(his biography continues there: Britannica.com – source for the image travelswithnancy.com)

Octavian (born Gaius Octavius, 23 September 63 BC – 19 August 14 AD) was the founder of the Roman Principate and considered the first Roman emperor, controlling the Roman Empire from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He was given the title Augustus on January 16 in 27 BC, becoming the first Roman emperor. This bronze head was part of a larger-than-life statue in Roman Egypt, erected the same year.

(source for the photo: the British Museum on Twitter)



Petition for Imperium Part I and II to get a London transfer!

I’ve just decided to start a petition for Imperium Part I and II to get a London transfer!

But for some reasons, I don’t want to use a proper site for petitions.

People can add their replies below, with reasons why they would like Imperium Part I and II to get a London transfer or whatever may help to reach our aim!

I will share it with the Royal Shakespeare Company in some days, hoping they see how much members of the audience would like to see the two plays in London.

(I approve comments manually, but they will be online in a short time).

Please join me in telling the RSC why it would be worth it!!!


[update at 8.15 pm: I’m grateful for this nice shout out I asked for:]

On Chesil Beach at the Göteborg Film Festival in Sweden

On Chesil Beach will be part of “Gala” Session” at the Göteborg Film Festival in Sweden, 28 – 29 – 30 January 2018:


British author screenwriter Ian McEwan will visit the Festival together with director Dominic Cooke with their film.
McEwan will present the film on Sun 28th, before the screening at Draken. Afterwards a Q&A will be held.


I’m so looking forward to see Oliver playing Ted in the movie!

An interesting session organised by the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust

An interesting session organised by the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust @ShakespeareBT , as part of their Winter Course, took place this afternoon, with the two actors who play Caesar and Tyro in Imperium, respectively Peter de Jersey and Joseph Kloska, joinin in for a Q&A.

Heather from Twitter was so kind to share the answers with me and to give me the permission of reporting it on my blog.

My questions were:

– Did the cast made a research about the Ancient Rome for their characters?

– Did some of them go to the real Rome?

Here the answers that came out, you can find the conversation through the tweet above.

Definitely did some historical research, per Pete de Jersey (Caesar). Joe Kloska felt it was more about an acting challenge to bring the work to the stage.

PdJ – good theatre is when you go to Macbeth & see not actors “doing Shakespeare” but a husband and wife addressing a situation

JK – #RSCImperium provides a backstory and dialogue with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar/Antony & Cleopatra

JK – the Cicero/Tyro relationship is very different from a Shakespearean master/servant role. JK tries to show the true friendship. #RSCImperium

There are some issues with the set – the Globe/moon obscured the view for some people.

PdeJ and JK both angry on behalf of audience for this.

Interesting – stage has been lowered so audience represents the Senate.

PdeJ comments that the space in The Swan is about the same as the actual space in the Senate.

PdeJ explains that one of the rings he wears as Julius is passed on to Ollie as a visible connection to his adopted heir.

Not commented on or obviously noticeable to audience, but agreed between PdeJ and OJ to symbolise the relationship.

JK comments on new Fire & Fury Book about Trump – says that Trump reacts emotionally whereas Caesar is wholly strategic.

Will the play transfer to West End or elsewhere? In discussion, no conclusion yet. Keep your fingers crossed! #End

“In discussion” is better than “No, it will not”! Let’s hope they will make it happen! Thank you again, Heather!

Oliver will reprise his role as Edgar in RSC King Lear!

The RSC Press Office has just announced the Casting update for King Lear!

I’m glad to announce that Oliver Johnstone will reprise his role as Edgar!

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon: 23 May – 9 June 2018

“Antony Sher reprises his performance as Lear. David Troughton and Antony Byrne return to play Gloucester and Kent respectively. Mimi Ndiweni joins the company as Cordelia. The cast also includes: Romayne Andrews (Regan’s Servant), James Clyde (Cornwall), James Cooney (Regan’s Servant), Patrick Elue (Burgundy), Kevin N Golding (Curan), Tracy-Anne Green (Regan’s Servant), Nia Gwynne (Goneril), Oliver Johnstone (Edgar), Whitney Kehinde (Regan’s Messenger), Byron Mondahl (Oswald), Esther Niles (Regan’s Messenger), John Omole (Lear’s Gentleman), Clarence Smith (Albany), Buom Tihngang (Edmund), Graham Turner (Fool), Ewart James Walters (Old Man) and Kelly Williams (Regan).
The creative team for King Lear remains the same as in the original production, with set and costumes designed by Niki Turner; lighting by Tim Mitchell, movement by Michael Ashcroft. Sound is by Jonathan Ruddick and music is composed by Ilona Sekacz. The fights are by Bret Yount.”

It’s a pity to see some actors from the 2016 cast not reprising their roles, welcome to the new members!

I asked to the RSC if the same cast will go to New York before Stratford…

I’m curious about possible changes compared to the previous production.


Press Day for Imperium Part I and II

Yesterday has been the Press Day for Imperium Part I and II at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon! A real tour-de-force for the team, but it was worth it, because the plays are getting 4 and 5* reviews!

Below, two production photos from Dictator with Oliver Johnstone as Octavian and reviews referring to him!

Evening Standard: “There’s crisp work from Oliver Johnstone and John Dougall ”

The Guardian StageOliver Johnstone brings out the watchful danger of the youthful Octavian.

The Stage “From the large supporting cast,Oliver Johnstone is unsettlingly collected as Caesar’s young heir Octavian, completely convinced of his own divinity.

I hope more good reviews will follow.

People are asking if the plays will ever go to London, no news from the RSC about it, let’s wait if they take this decision.