So this summer has been quite eventful in terms of going to see plays and ballets so I thought I’d give my opinions on them in the hope that you might venture out to see them (if they are still on!).
The first play I went to was Kenneth Branagh’s production of Shakespear’s Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick Theatre, London set in the updated time of 1950s Italy. The usual Romeo and Juliet you see it as one of tragedy and love but this production you could see the great comedy in his writing.
I have read reviews just to gauge what people have been saying I have come to a completely different conclusion about the play I thought it was a triumph. However, most major newspapers thought that it was not up to scratch for their Romeo and Juliet standards and that Richard Madden wasn’t strong enough Romeo but I think that Kenneth Branagh was trying to represent a more modern type of love in terms of the difference from love in 1500s to love in the 1950s. The way love is represented constantly changes and I think the newspapers believe that Romeo and Juliet should stick to representing old love of 1500s instead of modern love of the 1950s which was more sexual and progressive.
There was an incredible mix of great talent from Lily James’ soft and gentle Juliet to Richard Madden ‘s tough love Romeo to Derek Jacobi’s devious Mercutio to finally Meera Syal’s cheeky nurse. They all brought a quality to the play that made it not only a story of love but a journey into the characters with each of the actors.
The set of a rustic 1950s Italy was the perfect backdrop to Romeo and Juliet. It gave the play an aged look combined with the youthfulness of the play that made it that bit more magical. In the programme it talks of the situation in and before post Second World War Italy which is why the play works so well in this era as it is a time of high tension and uncertainty of the future which is what the play uses to connect with the world’s surroundings.
Overall, I believe that this is a fabulous production of Romeo and Juliet with a stellar cast it was a night of laughter and tears. This is a production that will appeal to the younger generation or those that haven’t had much experience of Shakespeare but would like to get into it. The production ends on the 13th of August here is a link to where I bought my tickets at a good price.
As usual, let me know what you think and if you agree with the critics or me?