Christopher Plummer as Caesar and Nikki M. James as Cleopatra in the Stratford production, which is coming to cinemas. ((David Hou/Stratford Shakespeare Festival))

A Stratford Shakespeare Festival production of Caesar and Cleopatra that starred Christopher Plummer is coming to the cinema screen.

Cineplex announced Tuesday it will screen a high-definition recording of the play in 80 cinemas across Canada on Jan. 31.

It will mark the first time a Stratford play filmed before a live audience is being shown on the big screen, Cineplex said.

Nikki James plays the young Cleopatra, a teenage queen, in the critically acclaimed production, which was recorded in the 2008 theatre season.

"Caesar and Cleopatra is the story of the occupation of one nation by another — and while it is set more than 2,000 years ago, it is surprisingly contemporary in its subject and its sharp sense of humour," said Stratford artistic director Des McAnuff.

The script owes its wit to writer George Bernard Shaw — although Stratford is a Shakespearean festival, this is not the Bard's version of the story.

"I hope it will serve as a banner production to let Canadians across the country witness the great things that are happening at Stratford," McAnuff added.

Shooting took place over three days to create the HD production in association with Bravo!

Cineplex has previously shown operas by the Metropolitan Opera and The Nutcracker by the National Ballet of Canada on its cinema screens.

The screenings are available from Quebec to B.C.

Tickets are $16.95 per child, $17.95 for each senior and $19.95 for an adult.


  • We initially reported it would be the first time a Stratford play is shown on a cinema screen. In fact, it will be the first time a Stratford play filmed before a live audience is shown in a cinema.
    Jan 14, 2009 2:30 PM ET