Romeo & Juliet
Two star-crossed lovers
take their lives
and not even a mildly damp
eye in the house.
a cup of coffee from a service station, this
production of 'Romeo and Juliet' is decidedly
Have a quick perusal of on-line reviews and you
will see that poor Jamie Doyle, fresh out of
RADA, is saddled with most of the blame. In
my opinion, this is unfair he strikes the
right note between teenage angst and real passion
and he deserves to be proud of this thoroughly
is Anjali Jay's affected, mannered interpretation
of Juliet that I had more problems with; I found
her performance lacked range and subtlety, with
everything delivered speedily and squeakily. She
"acts" whilst Doyle is real. Chemistry
between the two is neglible I've seen
bigger sparks fail to light a match.
never thought that Romeo and Juliet was a play in
which small parts could scene-steal, but Tim
Lewis defiantly proves me wrong.
the part of Peter, which barely registers upon a
reading of the text, he generates humour with
ease. Praise also for Alex Waldmann as the
oft-overlooked Benvolio, creating an endearing
and really quite lovely character.
Design is most disappointing. The bleached wood
balcony structure that pretty much entirely
composes the spartan set looks like something
that Changing Room's Handy Andy would be proud
of, whilst the costumes are a curious mix of
gherkins and jeans, codpieces and hoodies.
But the thing that this play lacks is spark -
save for the excitingly choreographed fight
scenes (complete with menacing music a
welcome change from the horrific pan-pipe CD that
toots at us for any romantic moments) and Su
Pollard's tender but dynamic Nurse.
a result it drags on to an oddly unmoving
conclusion well not so odd when you
consider that you strip away practically all
drama, tension and poignancy by hiding Juliet in
an out-of-sight underground tomb. Likewise, is it
too much to ask for Romeo to accompany, 'Thus
with a kiss I die' with an actual kiss?!
play never goes as far as being bad. But it
never ventures anywhere near very good territory
either. I found it static and staid, despite the
best efforts of a hard-working cast and a crew
that strive to give us a 'no-frills'
that service station cup of coffee, it'll fill
you up for now but given the ingredients (one of
the most powerful scripts in Shakespeare,
admittedly not to be found in coffee), you just
know that something much more satisfying could
have been produced.
by Rachel Read