2023 - Julius Caesar


Dates & Location

Royden Park, Frankby, Wirral


Tickets were on sale from the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton via Ticketswirral.com

Tickets started at £13.50

Each ticket is subject to a booking fee by Floral Pavilion.

Discounts for Group bookings
Available for all performances

VIP Package available in Stand B -
Cava and Canapes, meet the Directors, complementary programmes, the best seats in the house.


"Beware the Ides of March"

"Et Tu Brute"

The Cast  
Julius Caesar Charles Riley
Calpurnia Caroline Watkinson
Marcus Brutus Adam Stubbs
Caius Cassius Charlotte Cumming
Casca Jason Gallantry
Octavius Caesar Callum Sim
Mark Anthony Jonathan McGrath
Portia Alex Wharton
Lucius Ticki Clark
Soothsayer / Ensemble Pauline Garland
Cinna the conspirator / Ensemble Trevor Butlin
Flavius / Octavius' servant / Ensemble Carys Cooper
Cicero / Claudius / Ensemble Adrian Davies
Metellus Cimber / Ensemble Jemma Brown
Decius Brutus / Ensemble Simon Garland
Popilius / Caesar's servant /
Pindarus / Ensemble
Chris Haws
Marullus / Trebonius / Ensemble Rob Kavanagh
Caius Ligarius / Lepidus / Ensemble Shannon McMullan
Cinna the Poet Caroline Watkinson
Pre-show singers Tia Gill, Nick Hawkswell

The production team



                                  Ruth Stenhouse

                                     Stuart Rathe

Stage & Site Manager Gareth Cooper
Producer Katie Jones
Production Assistants Bethany Culshaw, Nessa Garland
Deputy Stage Manager Ben Howarth
Set Design Nigel Cooper
Chief Electrician Simon Ollman
Lighting design & Operation Nigel Cooper
Sound design & Operation Peter Elliott
Sound Assistant John Lawson
Costume design and Production Alexa Alpine, Tina Alpine
Assisted by Caroline Kay, Nessa Garland
Aesthetic Styling Katie Richardson
Properties Ian Tyrer, Michelle McMullan
Lighting crew Daniel Ellis, Sea Rainey, Alexander Breathnach, Micah Ollman
Set construction Nigel Cooper, Gareth Cooper, Ben Howarth, James Kay, Vince Perry, Richard Smith,Keith Hill, Nessa Garland,Steve Drewe, Michael Hawkyard, Mike Neal
Artistic design and realisation Keith Hill, Tim Sinnott
Front of House Manager Simon Deere
Press, publicity and Promotion Caroline Watkinson, Adrian Davies assisted by members of the crew and Committee
Box Office Caroline Kay, Nessa Garland
Rehearsal refreshments Caroline Kay, Nessa Garland
Photography Simon Garland
Programme Editor Simon Garland
Programme Features Simon Garland, Caroline Kay, Charles Riley
Audition Panel Ruth Stenhouse, Stuart Rathe, Mark Prescott, Nigel Cooper, James Kay,
Sarah McGinty
PATRONS Simon and Pauline Garland, Ruth Stenhouse, Gareth Cooper, Tim Gittins, Nigel and Carys Cooper, The Williams Family ( Steve, Clare, Tom, Lottie, Georgia and Freddy ), Adrian Davies, Nessa Garland, Joyce Brittan, Ian Cubbin.
  Hillbark Players would like to give their thanks to Craig, Lisa and all at Hillbark Hotel and Spa for the use of their grounds and facilities.


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Audition Poster

Audition pack

Tickets Wirral

Wirral Globe

click to enlarge


Hillbark Players bringing 'Julius Caesar' to Royden Park
By Craig Manning Chief Reporter

HILLBARK Players' production of Shakespeare's classic play Julius Caesar will be staged later this month.
Described as 'arguably one of the most famous plays of all time' it explores the themes of loyalty, betrayal and power.
The story is set in Rome and follows the conspiracy against Julius Caesar, the leader of the Roman republic.
The Hillbark Players' production, directed by NODA award-winning Ruth Stenhouse and Stuart Rathe, will be staged at Royden Park from June 19-24 with what promises to be 'an engaging and interesting spin'.
The Soothsayer and the Ides of March are two significant elements in Julius Caesar.
The Soothsayer, played by Hillbark stalwart Pauline Garland warns Caesar to 'Beware the Ides of March' she has foreseen his death on this day. Does he heed her warning?
'The Ides' fall on the 15th day of March in the Roman calendar and were based on the phases of the moon.
It is traditionally associated with the festival of Lupercalia, an ancient Roman fertility rite, which was believed to ward off evil spirits and ensure fertility and good fortune.
Co-director Ruth Stenhouse said: "We can’t wait to see our production come to life on stage, the casting is excellent and the set and lighting design is phenomenal.
"We are confident that our loyal Hillbark audiences will love it!"
A spokesperson for Hillbark Players said: "The story of Julius Caesar is well-known. Hillbark Players are bringing a fresh new take on it, exploring what happens when people have or seek power.
"The directorial team behind 2019's smash hit A Midsummer Night's Dream returns with a new twist on this historical drama.
"The production begins with Rome's raucous and thrilling Festival of the Wolf – the Lupercal.
"Encompassing political electioneering, plotting and a blood-soaked assassination, we promise you a rollercoaster ride filled with some of Shakespeare’s most powerful speeches and dramatic scenes.
"Hillbark Players are the company who have brought you open-air Shakespeare on Wirral since 1964 and we are proud of our history of supporting the arts on Wirral.
"We look forward to welcoming our loyal patrons back to Royden Park and to our 500-seat, undercover, open-air arena, for an immersive and dynamic show - watching history unfold before their eyes!"
Tickets are on sale at the Floral Pavilion on 0151 666 0000


Listen to Adrian Davies on Radio Merseyside

David North - The Hillbark Players are looking for cast members for their
open-air production of 'Julius Caesar' 05 11 22 - BBC Sounds



Julius Caesar – Royden Park  20 June 2023 All Hail Hillbark! Electrifying!

It’s the time of year we sit out on a beautiful evening in Royden Park, to be entertained by Hillbark Players’ bi-annual, open-air productionJulius Caesar, performed by the crème de la crème of Wirral actors, opened tonight with sunshine and blue skies: thankfully, no thunder and lightning but it was definitely an electrifying production!
If you’re thinking it’s a stuffy play with old men in togas – think again!  I’m not one for over doing the superlatives but I just might run out of them tonight. Directors, Ruth Stenhouse and Stuart Rathe skilfully brought this political drama to life with imaginative ensemble work, creative use of sets, eye-catching costumes, although ‘modern’ still had the Romanesque twist, and compelling performances, from not only the main characters but also the versatile and well-choreographed company.
This is an accessible and dynamic interpretation of the text and will certainly be well appreciated by teachers and students. Tonight’s audience was captivated.  Inspired by some national productions, but definitely giving it their own stylistic flair, Stenhouse & Rathe made sure this was a fluid, pacy delivery that kept us on the edge of our seats. There were some little touches of pure magic in the detailing – but no spoilers!
Yes, there are parallels to current politics – the recurring theme of ‘knives out’ and toppling careers-   but this narrative gives clarity to the story of Caesar’s betrayal: conspiracy, treachery and deception played out in rhetoric and blood.
The cast turned in superb performances, worthy of the word ‘professional.’ Charles Riley (Caesar) had the power and stance of a great leader, placing his words and expressions with intent. Caroline Watkinson, glamourous as his wife (Calpurnia) delivered her dream with vigour. They both looked resplendent in their costumes. Adam Stubbs (Brutus) really got the measure of the man: principled, honourable; delivered with a richness of tone that made you listen to his every word. His final scenes with Cassius were very moving. Jonathan McGrath (Mark Antony) had intelligence, a nimble agility to his movement that matched his eloquence and irony. Strong performances too from Alex Wharton as the fated Portia, Ticki Clark as the faithful Lucius and Pauline Garland as the quite mesmerizing soothsayer. Beware the Ides of March!  The list could go on… Callum Sim (Octavius)  Rob Kavanagh (Trebonius) Jason Gallantry (Casca) all delivered with energy and purpose.
But it was Charlotte Cumming as Caius Cassius, who gave the standout performance of the night. This was truly an impeccable, meticulous portrait of a character. Not only did she look striking as the strong-minded, shrewd ringleader but her presence was magnetic; we were drawn into her, held by every word. She masterfully owned the language and commanded the arena. The sheer brilliance in her understanding of the character continued in the second half of play, when Cassius knows she is defeated, Cumming’s whole physicality and expression changed and the relationship with Brutus felt absolutely real.  Exceptional! A performance that will stay with me a long time.

There were no weak links in this cast- all the ensemble worked so hard. Well done to Simon Garland, Trevor Butlin, Adrian Davies, Carys cooper, Jemma Brown, Shannon McMullan, Chris Haws and a few of the production staff who were part of some of the scenes (?) Also to the singers, Tia Gill and Nick Hawkswell for giving some real energy to the great opening party sequence (again no spoilers! )
 The impressive set was well designed with lots of levels and entrances, giving plenty of opportunities for tableau and movement. Congratulations to the set building team, the very hard-working wardrobe department and the technical crew for lighting and sound. The soundscape was particularly atmospheric and distinctive. This was a true team effort!
In twenty years of seeing Hillbark productions, surely this is one of their best – All hail Hillbark!
Don’t take my word for it – Go see it! It runs until Saturday. You may think Shakespeare’s not for you, but I never imagined I would say this of ‘Julius Caesar’- The best show I’ve seen all year!
Reviewer: Bev Clark   Reviewed: 19th June 2023
North West End UK Rating: *****

The Committee  
Hon. Life President Mike Ellis
Chairman Nigel Cooper
Vice Chair Ruth Stenhouse
Secretary Caroline Kay
Treasurer Gareth Cooper
Business Manager Ben Howarth
Committee members