The Perse School

Romeo and Juliet – a review

23 Apr 2014

The last week of the Lent term saw three sell-out performances of Romeo and Juliet by The Perse Players. Lower Sixth student, Beth Barker, reviewed this fantastic show. We hope you enjoy reading.

Romeo and Juliet, directed by Mrs Leigh and produced by Miss Revell, was the best depiction I have seen. It was performed in modern dress, which for Shakespeare is a risk but worked brilliantly giving the play a timeless feel. The set was imaginative, with a tiered central block, used as a balcony, a bed and finally a tomb.

The balcony scene between Juliet (Emma Broadhurst) and Romeo (Tom Harwood) was particularly memorable. Lighting and music came together with the lovers to create a scene which was truly exquisite.

There was high quality of acting throughout, every line conveyed its meaning to the audience, which is difficult with Shakespeare and isn’t always achieve even in professional productions. Tragedy, humor and romance were captivating throughout.

The wonderful comedy moments, including the golfing scene between Paris (Asher Glinsman) and Lord Capulet (Hugh Lawrence) which contrasted well with more melancholy scenes. Marcus Dell delivered a great performance making Friar Laurence standout. He gave the character comedy with an edge of seriousness. Particularly interesting was the use of five nurses to flock around Juliet, all portrayed a different nurse to great effect.

Once again tremendous performances from Oliver Cantrill playing Mercutio and Ben Thurlow playing Tybalt, whose fight scene had the audience on the edge of their seats. But it was the scene between Lord Capulet and Juliet, after Juliet’s defiance that she will not marry Paris that was so convincing, the intensity of the drama and the very realist violence were commendable. Emma managed to brilliantly portray the transition of Juliet’s character from a young naive girl, to being in love, to being a determined wife ready to give up all for her husband.

The gun was used to great effect in the final scene. Paris’s death was shocking after the tender scene with him by Juliet’s body. Both Romeo and Juliet’s goodbyes were moving and brilliantly conveyed to the audience.

It was the little touches that made this production, the symbolism of the shoes of the dead characters hanging on the back drop, reminding the audience of the sobering tragedy and significance of each death. At the other end of the spectrum the moments of light relief, for example the dark glasses worn by the Montagues the morning after the revelry at the Capulet’s. The play was supported throughout with professional performances of the chorus and other minor roles.

It was a wonderful production which the whole audience enjoyed.”

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