When female and non-binary playwrights take their knives to Shakespeare’s greatest political thriller, Julius Caesar, there will be blood and conspiratorial thrills but also a comic romp.

CAESAR, presented by Brisbane’s La Boite Theatre, is a response to the Bard’s 1599 tale that transposes the original text on five actors who have come together to perform both the major roles and versions of themselves.

La Boite 2021 Caesar

Bryan Probets plays Caesar, the patriarch, allowing investigation of contemporary ideas of masculinity and power. His fellow cast become cyphers, crossing between contemporary and Elizabethan language over the five acts: Chenoa Deemal plays Cassius, Giema Contini plays Brutus and Will Carseldine plays Marc Antony.

Antony bathes in his critical mentions: “’Go for the Shakespeare, stay for the hunky Antony’,” he says, reading a review to the assistant stage manager. “Wow. That’s so nice, don’t you think?”

Meanwhile Billy Fogarty, an actor who is non-binary, will appear in the first mainstage role of their career. Director Sanja Simić says of the young actor: “I was very interested in what they...