When a group of conspirators led by Brutus and Cassius assassinate Julius Caesar, they find themselves unable to deal with the power struggle that erupts in its wake.
Nicholas Hytner’s modern-dress production is up close and personal, the G Plan furniture suggesting a 1970s setting but it could just as easily be today or tomorrow.
As Caesar (David Calder) enters, he throws his baseball cap into the crowd, a useful signifier of any ageing politician attempting to harness the youth vote.
But by the time he confronts the conspirators who gun him down in the Senate, he is clearly a man whose “noble” rule has shifted into control without compromise.
He brooks no debate, no opposition.
Beneath the impressive special effects, including the stutter of automatic weapons, screaming jets and loud explosions, there are some subtle performances.
David Morrissey’s Mark Antony is a huge presence, hiding his nascent ambition behind bitter irony during the “Friends, Romans, countrymen” speech.
He may claim he is “no orator, as Brutus is” but he is a rabble-rouser who can move the mob equally effectively.
In contrast Ben Whishaw’s Brutus is a philosopher and a rationalist, part Lenin and part Che Guevara, a scholar revolutionary.
Cassius (Michelle Fairley, slippery and subtle) and Casca (Adjoa Andoh, playing for laughs) are female, reflecting the rise of the empowered woman.
Much of the audience promenades as the Roman mob in the central arena between stages, shepherded around by security guards, although there are seats for those who prefer to watch in comfort.
And the feast of Lupercal is transformed into a political rally complete with current Labour anthem Seven Nation Army although the inclusion of Eye Of The Tiger is more Jeremy Clarkson than Jeremy Corbyn.
This is Shakespeare with attitude in a visceral, rip-snorting 1970s-style production aimed squarely at the next generation of theatregoers.
Bridge Theatre, until April 15. Tickets: 0843 208 1846