First let me say how enjoyable I found the performance of Romeo and Juliet.
I was a bit startled when the BBC News music kicked in while waiting for the play to begin, but the mash-up of music to news clips, helped frame the enmity between the two families with the clashes of modern-day gang violence and knife crime.
The use of 'security' during the opening of the play to set the props for the scene was a delight, and special mention must be made of Daisy Den Engelse’s Mercutio who had such a tremendous and mischievous stage presence from the get-go.
Emily Palmer's Tybalt in scenes soon after also deserves applause. There was a sense of violence about her bearing marking her early on as a dangerous force on stage. Juliet's Nurse, played by Hatty Horscoft, had such wonderful mannerisms that had the audience laughing and smiling with just a simple action.
The title characters as played by Emmie Wright and Emily Sidnell. had a wonderful chemistry together. There was no awkwardness as might be imagined by young actors doing such a role, and the characters had a believable attraction forming so quickly after their first meeting.
On the heads of the Capulet family, Josh Hinds and Kyla Harwood had some fantastic moments in their interactions with Juliet. The wrath of Lord Capulet at his daughter's disobedience on the matter of marriage to Paris had a quality of barely restrained fury and indignation, and the Lady in her scene with Juliet and her Nurse came across perfectly as a character.
Friar Lawrence, as portrayed by Chris Sainton-Clark, was very believable in his role as a man of God, and Oli Bowling’s Paris came across as so charming to be repellent in some scenes, which seems just right for the role. I was very impressed with the cast as a whole, and I could go on listing names…
On the story and production of the play itself, I knew some of the changes on going into the play, but was still not sure what I was expecting. There is always a risk of overplaying something when it comes to the depiction of LGBT relationships in fiction and in the media, but it was not the case here. I felt it was respectfully handled and still focused on the strife between the warring families as being the cause for the romance being star-crossed, than the sexuality of the characters.
Written by Ellen De Tarrier, Past Paston Sixth Form College Student, Staff and Corporation Member.
Photo taken by Paul Greeves
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