Search

Theatre review: Romeo and Juliet at Rosemary Branch Theatre

PUBLISHED: 15:26 22 October 2012

A new production William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet is currently playing at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in Shepperton Road, N1. Directed by the fringe theatre's associate, Bryony J. Thompson, it features a young cast of just seven (pictured). Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm and 6pm Sundays until November 4, visit www.rosemarybranch.co.uk or call 020 7704 6664.

A new production William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet is currently playing at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in Shepperton Road, N1. Directed by the fringe theatre's associate, Bryony J. Thompson, it features a young cast of just seven (pictured). Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm and 6pm Sundays until November 4, visit www.rosemarybranch.co.uk or call 020 7704 6664.

Archant

Spirited rendition of Shakespeare that soars in second half

Being such a mainstay and fixture of the theatrical landscape, any performance of Romeo and Juliet begs the question: what can be offered that is new?

That goes double when the budget is shoestring, the stage small, and the setting an intimate pub theatre, as in this production at the Rosemary Branch Theatre.

Well, for starters, the number of actors has been condensed to a mere seven. All the cast portray multiple characters, with the exception of a consummate Romeo (Benjamin Ireland) and an excellent Juliet (Carla Kingham).

This refinement has not resulted in any real sacrifices or casualties, save for Lord Capulet, whose lines have been absorbed by Lady Capulet.

A live mixed soundscape has also been injected to bolster proceedings, although unfortunately, this is an experiment that doesn’t always succeed. The sound provides a perpetual hum which, occasionally, detracts rather than compliments the dialogue.

It draws parallels with Baz Luhrmann’s film from 1996, which paired contemporary music with a contemporary setting. This production offers update in music alone, creating a distracting incongruity between the semi-contemporary score and the historically-sensitive environment.

Yet despite these misgivings, this is a spirited and competent rendition – especially in the second half, when it truly soars. Post-interval, there is a measured dynamic and execution that lifts the production from good to very good indeed, and special mention must go to the stand-out performances: Jason Eddy as The Friar, Mark Rush at the Nurse and Catherine Rowney, who is a powerhouse when depicting Lady Capulet.

* Romeo and Juliet is at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in Shepperton Road, N1, until November 4.

0 comments

Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

Fri, 13:45

Since the play’s first outing, representations of the East End have become two-a-penny in mainstream popular culture but director Jessica Lazar doesn’t shy away from tropes that play up caricature and nostalgia

Fri, 13:30

‘Waking’ centres around a single moment: a faint sense of recognition between a man and a woman

Fri, 13:00

On February 2-3 . the annual festival returns, showcasing the best in dance this year

Fri, 12:30

From February 1 to 11, the exhibition will showcase some of the world’s most interesting and revolutionary contemporary collagists, looking at redefining how the art form is expressed

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now