Tuesday, 28 April 2020

THEATRE REVIEW: Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London.


I have to say this performance was more than what I expected!

I love me some Shakespeare, and reviewing Romeo and Juliet I thought would be easy to do as I have seen so many versions of the piece. I have actually been to Verona and seen the balcony and was lucky enough to see actors rehearse scenes for a festival that was to be performed at a festival.

I was so wrong, it was different to any other performance I have ever seen, with great direction and casting comes a great performance. That is what you got!

For never was a story of more woe. Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. It's the greatest tragedy and romance in the world, innocent and childish and so full of death and destruction, no wonder it is the most memorable. This performance was just that, there is a real connection between all characters with such chemistry that it was hard to write and watch at the same time.

Members of the company who played the narration as a chorus and even beautifully sang verse in unison which gave the piece tragedy only the Greeks could dream of. Anyone who was a servant or a character who was not the key players became a chorus, especially those who played servants. A special mention has to go to Fergal McElherron [Balthazar/Chorus/Gregory/Peter ] in a multi role that was just amazing! He is a brilliant physical comedian and his delivery was just awesome!

You can see the artistry the wardrobe has created with Capulets donning red and Montagues blues with only the key characters [Romeo and Juliet] wearing a cross of the colours, with such a consistency. It's all aesthetically pleasing, with a great balance and characters' status, personality, motivation showing in all aspects of character is expressed in costume as well as in performance/

Ellie Kendrick's Juliet is a beautiful picture of girlish infatuation, being spoiled and impatient in her child-like manor was a pleasure to watch. In the same turn, the change that came with the quiet resolution to 'kill' herself knowing what she must do to avoid a second marriage showed this beautiful change from this girlish dream of love, to its harsh realities. Same with Adetomiwa Edun as Romeo, I couldn't help but smile whenever he walked on to the stage, he was just this ray of sunshine of a young man with everything ahead of him, not a care in the world and then changed into a man with too much to bear.

The language of the play was delivered beautifully, especially by Penny Layden who played the Nurse, was very fitting in her northern accent. There's something musical with Shakespeare in a northern accent that does not resonate with any other. As a northerner I am perhaps biased, and that is a personal opinion, but the northern accent fits so well with the words it can't be avoided.

It is a brilliant performance, and I recommend it 100%, a truly beautiful performance. This piece reminds you that these characters were just children, and it's not the story of love that you were told in school. It is a tragedy of epic proportions that warns of the dangers that lie in true love and how hatred and violence destroy everything good. A message that should be heeded in our current times.

Friar Laurwence played by Rawiri Paratene, Mercutio by Philip Cumbus and Tybalt by Ukweli Roach must be mentioned for their outstanding performances!

Reviewer - Keziah Lockwood
on - 27/4/20

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