Search

Theatre review: Romeo and Juliet at Rosemary Branch Theatre

15:26 22 October 2012

A new production William Shakespeare

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 Entertainment Stories

11:03
Andrew O'Neill

An embodiment of the ‘outsider artist’, comedian Andrew O’Neill’s latest show draws on his metalhead knowledge, says Alex Bellotti.

A platter of Bunsmiths food at the Sebright Arms

New food brand at Haggerston boozer brings restaurant quality food with a pub price tag

Fri, 11:03
Will Ferrell and Steve Carell (pictured appearingon  the New Year's Eve Graham Norton Show) are just two Second City alumnis. Picture: PA/Yui Mok

Second City has built a reputation in America for producing its best comedians for over 50 years. Now, it is making its UK debut at Angel Comedy Club, finds Alex Bellotti.

Wed, 17:16
Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic in Mahler 9 at Barbican Centre, Picture: Chris Lee

Alongside a headline performance of Stravinsky’s Petrushka, a week long collaboration between London and New York will see compositions written by young pen pals performed.

Most read entertainment

Competitions

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Seasons 1-4 on Blu-ray, as well as a shiny new Sony Blu-ray player could be coming your way!

To celebrate the fifth series of George RR Martin and HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones, Ladbrokes is giving away a series one to four Blu-ray box set along with a Sony Blu-ray player to one lucky winner!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder