Imperium: adapted from the Cicero Trilogy by Robert Harris by Mike Poulton
Following his stunning RSC adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, Mike Poulton turns his pen to the thrilling world of Ancient Rome with a brand new version of Robert Harris's best-selling Cicero novels.Cicero, the greatest orator of his age, devoted all his energy and cunning to preserve the rule of law, and defend Rome's Republic against the predatory attacks of political rivals, discontented aristocrats, and would-be military dictators.Imperium follows Cicero's triumphs and disasters, through power struggles, civil wars, and personal highs and lows, told through the eyes of Tiro, his loyal secretary. A backstage view of Rome at its most bloody and brutal.Imperium consists of six hour-long plays, in two parts, published in one volume.Part I: ConspiratorCicero is elected consul by a unanimous vote of the Roman people. Catiline, his aristocratic rival, is furious in defeat and refuses to accept the results of the election. He swears a blood oath to destroy Cicero, murder the government, and take Rome by force. Behind the conspiracy, Cicero suspects, lurks Julius Caesar - young, ruthless, popular with the Roman mob and greedy for absolute power. As law and order begins to break down, who controls the mob controls Rome: Cicero, Catiline, Caesar or the charming but vicious playboy, Publius Clodius?Part II: DictatorCicero has retired from politics. Julius Caesar - dictator, and commander of Rome s armies - is assassinated. Cicero sees his death as an opportunity to restore the Republic but the assassins, Brutus and Cassius, dither as power in Rome begins to fall into the lap of Mark Antony.Determined to prevent Antony imposing a military dictatorship on Rome, Cicero forms an unlikely alliance with the 19-year-old great-nephew and heir of Julius Caesar. Confident that he can control the boy and use him to destroy Mark Antony, Cicero sets out to save the Republic.Imperium has its world premiere at the RSC's Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon in November 2017.