Romeo and Juliet
From: Thursday, 6th April 2006
To: Saturday, 14 October 2006
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The story of frustrated young (illegally young in modern terms) love and death and the vendetta between two families in a tight-knit Italian community. One of Shakespeare's most popular and enduring dramas it has also been re-done as film, ballet, musical (most notably "West Side Story") and ice spectacular!
20 April 2006
A word of warning to anyone planning to see this Romeo and Juliet, the opening production in the RSC's year-long Complete Works festival - get to the theatre in good time. Miss the opening few minutes and you’re likely to spend the next three hours baffled.
For director Nancy Meckler introduces a framing device - an opening scene - which establishes this as a play being performed by a warring Italian community who set aside their grievances - and shotguns - to perform. In truth, the conceit adds little, and the exchange of the usual knife fights for Riverdance-style tapping routines, albeit admirably drilled, and the Stomp-style banging of wooden staves slips from time to time into the risible.
This said, there’s much to enjoy in Meckler’s staging, which, as anyone who saw her recent Comedy of Errors would anticipate, is beautifully and imaginatively done, aided by the designs of Katrina Lindsay and the beguiling lighting of Ne...
Latest User Review
22.214.171.124) - 8 October 2006:
If I had to mark the RSC’s newest production of Romeo and Juliet, I would have to give it at least a nine out of ten. The whole experience could hardly have been better. On arriving at the theatre, I was shown to my seat by a series of kind, and well presented stewards. When in the theatre, a quick look at the stage told me that even though people were still arriving the play had already begun. It was amazing, rather than getting ready in the wings, the actors were putting their shoes on and straitening their jackets right in the middle of the stage. It made me feel as if they were trying to say that we were a part of the play too, not just an audience watching from afar but fellow actors readying our selves for two hours of hard work and emotional uproar. Suddenly, I became aware of something happening on stage apart from the actors getting dressed. Some one was shouting, and before I could work out what had been said, all hell had broken loose, and I was given my first taste of Liz Ranken’s “fight dancing,” where instead of a sword fighting the actors tap-danced whilst hitting the floor with their weapons. Although this sounds stupid, the over-all effect worked perfectly, as the rhythm of the weapons hitting the floor mixed with that of furious heel tapping gave an impression intense aggression and violence beyond the petty, “ take that” of normal fight scenes. After this there was an abstinence watched over by a little girl, who, I suppose was meant to represent innocence but just seemed to confuse me. As this was going on my eyes were drawn to the set, I noticed that the raised platform dragged your eyes to the action and around the platform, on a floor covered with a red powder (which I took to symbolise blood) stood about three rows of chairs, on which all the cast that weren’t involved in the present scene sat on, looking generally interested I what was going on around them. This showed a great sense of community and that the whole city was effected by this silly brawl. When I looked back at the main stage, I found Rupert Evans making his first appearance as Romeo. And might I add what a good appearance it was too. ...