Shakespeare’s Gladiator Games
Chris Coculuzzi, Matt Toner, and William Shakespeare
2003 Toronto Fringe Festival
July 2nd – 13th, 2003
Trinity College Field
Bedford/Bloor West (behind Varsity Stadium)
“Cowards die many times before their deaths,
The valiant never taste of death but once.”
About the Play
It is 44 B.C. and Julius Caesar has vanquished his rivals and consolidated his power in the Roman Republic. To commemorate his victories, Caesar decides to treat the plebeians to the largest “day of games” ever held – the Ludi Fringes – consisting of: a Morning Hunt lead by famous bestiari gladiator Coriolanus; a re-enactment of the Trojan Wars; the noontime Noxii of General Andronicus and his Public Executions of Goth prisoners; and afternoon Gladiatorial combat highlighted by a Naumachia (a rare naval re-enactment) lead by top Gladiators Antony and Octavius. Footing the bill is none other than Greek philanthropist Timon of Athens, and with all those revealing togas and pointy swords waving about, what could possibly go wrong?
Upstart Crow Sports Network (UCSN) travels back to Roman Antiquity to proudly bring you Shakespeare’s Gladiator Games, a clever hybrid of improvised sporting play and spectacle theatre transforming Shakespeare’s Greek and Roman plays into a traditional Roman Ludi. This time, Ovid is joined by Pseudolus to provide all the play-by-play colour commentary, along with interviews and updates from that Coliseum-embedded historian/reporter Plutarch, as Gladiators vie for the coveted wooden Rudis and with it…their freedom.