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David Porter » Reviews » Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

Shakespearean Lunges at The Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 26 August 2005

Romeo and Juliet

The launch of a new amateur theatre ensemble of students and older people is an exciting event.

The intriguingly-entitled company is Shakespearean Lunges and their choice of one of the most well-known tragedies from the Bard’s cannon for their debut, is a challenging one.

There is always a difficulty in reciting lines that have become part of the fabric of our English language, but director Sam Grayston has found a number of fresh angles.

Modern settings and touches like slow dancing at the Capulets’ ball, small but well-formed comic moments from characters and Tybalt’s blood spat over Romeo’s face, all work to lift the text.

Love’s young dream is Romeo (Rhys King) whose measured victim-hood is contrasted with Juliet’s (Jennifer Parsons) energy, that catches the likeness of a young teenager before horror engulfs her.

Opening nerves give way to a confident interpretation. Sue Campbell-Bannerman as the Nurse is spot-on; Chris Whiting as the short-lived Mercutio is excellent, and Phil Everest’s Paris is wonderfully oily.

As they work and perform together more, the star-crossed lovers, leading stage stars in the making, can only grow in stature. We will be seeing a lot more of this promising company.

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