24th January 2015
New Diorama Theatre
I’m on a mission to watch all of the Shakespeare I can see in London now as I’m currently developing some of my own work loosely based on this wonderful piece of creation that makes me cry rivers whenever I watch it. It just is my all--time favourite play in the whole world. I must be able to recite the whole thing if I concentrated.
I thought this company’s interpretation was rather wonderful. They had such young energy – I think the story has been told so many times, interpreted in so many ways sometimes I just forget that it’s about young people. Chaotic emotional teenagers that can’t keep their hormones under control. It’s essentially about sex. Shakespeare just likes to jazz it up a little.
The whole ‘meeting each other at a rave’ thing is a prime example. After a few too many tequila shots doesn’t everybody think that the man they might be dancing with is their Romeo? I’ve done it a few times myself. That’s not to say that all the poetry is irrelevant – it’s so beautiful it breaks my heart but I think part of that is because the two leads are so damn impulsive. These actors managed to portray that perfectly in their choice of casting. Clare Latham’s Juliet was perfectly done – stroppy without being histrionic – she had a real innocence about her and I found myself warming to her choice of American accent. It felt like she knew she didn’t belong in her family and that made her struggle as a character even more believable.
The standard of acting across the board was excellent. Mercutio’s ‘Queen Mab’ speech was as over the top as it needed to be. I loved that this company weren’t afraid to be graphic – they pushed every innuendo to the extreme and it was exactly right. After all, the ultimate goal for these two main characters is to sleep together – granted their might be a bit of emotional turmoil in between but that’s it. It’s about getting it on.
I also love Kate Sawyer’s Nurse in her pink velor tracksuit. She was just the right amount of comic relief and contrasted the rather well spoken Capulet’s really well. Romeo (Christopher York) was adorable and naïve – just between a boy and a man and had chemistry in all the right places. You genuinely believed his efforts to try his best for this girl. I have to say I was mighty impressed
Overall – innocent, energetic, dynamic