Theatre Review by Megan Groom (10R)

As part of our study of Romeo and Juliet we went to see a performance of the play at ‘The Playhouse’ in Norwich. The play was being performed by the ‘Icarus Theatre’ in conjunction with ‘Kings Theatre’.

The choice of casting was, in my opinion, quite strange. Multicasting was used which is normally fine but in this performance it was unclear who was who and what their character was like. Overall the cast was quite small; I think it only consisted of about seven. Some of the casting and character decisions were radical and did not work.

The main change was that Tybalt was played as a girl; this changed the nature of the relationships and made the audience respond differently to Tybalt’s death.

The comical characters, such as the nurse and Mercutio were the strongest and therefore my favourite; their scenes were the most effective and captivating. Some of the serious or love scenes were not as good. I could neither feel true emotion nor empathise with the characters.

Despite its weaknesses I did enjoy the production as a whole and found it helpful for my English studies. In some ways it was a good thing for it to have weaknesses, or aspects that I did not agree with because this helped define what I think makes a good performance and I can compare it with the text and any other performances that I see.

Review by Tracy Derby (10R)

Although Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, this production made excellent use of the play’s funnier aspects. The set design and lighting made a welcoming focal point of the stage; with very few physical props and a minimalistic use of lighting the outcome was quite beautiful. I really loved everything about the layout and logistics of this performance.

While the actors were generally well cast for their roles, unfortunately I found myself left rather cold by Romeo and Juliet themselves. A lack of chemistry between the actors combined with obvious fake kissing, made for the kind of moment where you realise you’re watching people on a stage. Personally, I really like falling into a play and forgetting the outside world exists for a few hours…. That aside, this was an excellent take on a globally-renowned tale of true love and true loss, and a very enjoyable day out.