Thursday, May 30

Tag: Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet – Royal Exchange Theatre
North West

Romeo & Juliet – Royal Exchange Theatre

In over 40 years of watching and reviewing theatre, I've seen a lot of Shakespeare, some very good, some indifferent and some very bad. The best productions manage to make even the most well known phrases in the canon sound both newly minted and instantly understandable, whilst giving the story a fresh context and relevance to the particular audience it seeks to entertain. The new production of Romeo & Juliet at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester does both of these and much more, ranking amongst the best I have seen in recent years at this lovely venue. Director Nicholai la Barrie firmly embeds his tale of the 'star crossed lovers' in the inner city streets of Manchester, his Verona does not feature the palazzo's and palaces of 16th century Italy instead it is the rain soaked...
Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet – Festival Theatre
Scotland

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet – Festival Theatre

On its opening night, Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre came alive with the revival of Matthew Bourne's "Romeo & Juliet." Often regarded as a master of family-friendly productions, Bourne's latest interpretation delves deeper into the suppressed passions simmering beneath the surface, offering a fresh perspective on Shakespeare's timeless tragedy. The stage is transformed into the Verona Institute, an institution akin to an asylum for troubled youth, masterfully designed by Lez Brotherston. Its stark, white surfaces, imposing barred doors, and staircases leading to nowhere symbolize the suffocating conformity that envelopes its inhabitants. Yet, within these confines, the characters, clad in white, strive to break free with subtle acts of rebellion—flicks of the head, twitches of the ar...
Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet – Bradford Alhambra
Yorkshire & Humber

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet – Bradford Alhambra

This story of two star crossed lovers has been performed in every medium imaginable, so it was inevitable that our greatest choreographer Matthew Bourne would at some stage be lured by Sergei Prokofiev’s iconic ballet score. Be warned this is far from a straight scene by scene version of the Bard’s masterpiece, and Bourne’s interpretation sets this ageless tragedy in the near future. Romeo and Juliet are inmates in the Verona Institute, which might be a closed psychiatric unit for troubled teenagers, or a young offenders institute. That’s up to you, but it has echoes of The Handmaid’s Tale, although the battle between the inmates and the establishment that acts as a surrogate for Shakespeare’s familial conflict is more reminiscent of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Into this antise...
Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet – Hull New Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet – Hull New Theatre

Whenever a ballet comes to town, Hull’s theatregoers go to town, ensuring full venues without fail. And Tuesday evening at the Hull New Theatre was no exception when Matthew Bourne’s Romeo + Juliet performed to a decent-sized crowd. I must have watched dozens of ballets during my reviewing career, yet I still can’t put a name to any of the dance steps. It’s the sheer spectacle of the genre that appeals to me - the costumes, music, make-up, stage settings and, of course, the dancers, all combine to create the perfect form … of entertainment. Luckily for me - and sparing my reviewing blushes - this very different production had none of the steps usually performed in a ballet. Also, away from the ballet norm, there wasn’t a whisper of a tutu or pink satin ballet pump. And, apart ...
Romeo & Juliet – Hull Truck Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Romeo & Juliet – Hull Truck Theatre

Sunglasses? Tick. Suncream? Tick. Raincoat? Tick. Cushion? Tick. Blanket? Tick. Was I packing for a staycation weekend? No, just for a trip to the theatre. Let me explain … Hull Truck Theatre’s production of Romeo & Juliet is being staged at the city’s open-air theatre, Stage@TheDock. Hull, on the east coast, can get every type of weather in one day, so the above were just some of the items we theatregoers were advised to carry with us for the performance on Wednesday afternoon. As the temperature hit the high 20s, this fascinating outdoor theatre began to fill up with people of all ages. We were all here for the most famous love story of all, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. A jolly accordion player (Nicholas Goode) musically opened proceedings and he was quic...
Romeo & Juliet – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
London

Romeo & Juliet – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

On a wonderfully sunny evening, the weather gods behaved themselves, and we were treated to one of Shakespeare’s best loved plays.  Postponed from last year’s season, director Kimberley Sykes’ version has been eagerly anticipated, with its new viewpoint on this popular play, we ask – did this re-assessment pay off? The set designed by Naomi Dawson, with its backdrop of trees, helps to soften the harsh set of scaffolding, rocks, and earth.  Earth is one of Sykes’ themes and can be seen as a symbol of nurturing growth, but earth also throws its arms around death which is a major part of the plotline.  When Sykes re-read the play, she was struck by a reference to an earthquake that had happened in Verona eleven years earlier.  At the time of the earthquake, the Nurse (...
Romeo & Juliet – The National Theatre
REVIEWS

Romeo & Juliet – The National Theatre

Faint heart never won fair lady, so it is only right that under the direction of Simon Goodwin, the National Theatre, following in the wake of Zeffirelli’s 1968 tour de force and Luhrmann’s wonderful 1996 translation, have boldly reimagined Shakespeare’s classic tale of love to serve up a Romeo & Juliet fit for the 21st Century. Filmed over seventeen days in an empty Lyttelton Theatre, the contrast between scene and unseen spaces offers the perfect parallel for a play which whilst on the surface is a love story, at its heart is riddled with tension, twists, and turns. The Prince (an assured Adrian Lester) provides the authoritative voice of calm and reason after Tybalt (David Judge) and Benvolio (Shubham Saraf) clash before the respective heads of their families, Lord and Lady C...
Romeo & Juliet – Shakespeare’s Globe
London

Romeo & Juliet – Shakespeare’s Globe

Romeo & Juliet is a favourite for school examiners, and we see it re-appearing onto the curriculum at regular intervals.  The Globe have joined with Deutsche Bank, who for the last 10 years have funded online resources for their youth engagement programme, to enhance their ‘Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank’ project.  Each year 20,000 free tickets are given to schools for shows that have been specially created for students to introduce and nurture a greater understanding of Shakespeare and the performance of his plays.  This exceedingly useful resource offers students a chance to come to the home of the Bard to experience the thrill of live performance.  This experience undoubtedly helps the words to leapfrog from the page into their young minds, to help to vi...