REVIEW: ROMEO & JULIET (TEMPLE CHURCH)
Theatre

REVIEW: ROMEO & JULIET (TEMPLE CHURCH)

Very few stories remain in the collective memory like Romeo and Juliet. When the play is performed in an unusual venue like Temple Church, the magical illusion of theatre can invigorate the plot and make the audience relive such a well-known drama in a special way.

Directed by Ben Horslen and John Risebero, the show is perfectly comfortable with its unusual location. The stage, completely empty, apart from a small platform in the centre, is located in the Round, the oldest part of the church. A location, full of history (and now famous because of the Dan Brown’s bestseller The Da Vinci Code), enriches the play with an intense atmosphere.

Even though the acoustics are not perfect, the theatre company, Antic Disposition, captures the spirit of Shakespeare’s drama, largely thanks to the excellent performances delivered by all actors. Dylan Kennedy (Romeo) and Bryony Tebbutt (Juliet) are utterly convincing in the roles of the two protagonists and it is also worth mentioning the outstanding performance of Helen Evans, who is completely at ease in switching between humour and tragedy and expressing the colourful personality of the Nurse.

The music perfectly matches the slow escalation of violence and death, which is also well expressed in the fight scenes. Whilst the tragedy is performed in a classic style, all the actors are dressed in modern clothing, making the story closer to the audience, and underlining the eternal value of the drama.

Both performance and staging are effective throughout, especially in the closing scene, where light and darkness perfectly epitomise the themes of this evergreen tragedy; the inextricable mixture of love and death.

Romeo and Juliet is on at Temple Church until 7th September. Tickets start at £15 and can be bought here.

Read more posts by Michelangelo Nigro here and follow him on Twitter @MichelangeloNig

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