Michael Brusasco’s Brutus is both idiosyncratic and very effective. He’s demonstrative, intimate with the audience, not the cool Stoic we often see. At his superb soliloquy in Act 2, Brusasco got a few tart chuckles at many lines, such as “Th’abuse of greatness is when it/ Disjoins remorse from power.” He has high standards: “Let us be sacrificers, not butchers. … Let’s kill him boldly but not wrathfully. … Our purpose necessary and not envious.” Admirable, but naïve, standing on principle when all about him are simply settling scores.
From the outset, there is a querulous note to this Brutus. When fortune goes bad, he fairly screams at Cassius in his tent, surely a divergence from the classical, staid cool of many Brutuses. He also maintains a slight, ironic smile, as when he sees all is lost. This Brutus is never totally sure of himself and will stand up to all consequences. This Brutus is more tragic, more to be mourned. This is a Julius Caesar worth seeing, raising all the conflicted issues that have engrossed and appalled audiences for centuries, not least our own.
...he’s just a bungler, a mediocre white guy.