Skip to main content

Romeo and Juliet

Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
3 stars
Hearts and flowers are everywhere in Pilot Theatre’s touring production of Shakespeare’s teenage love tryst tragedy, from the ostentatious shrine we’ve grown used to from public displays of mass grieving that opens the play, to the bed of roses the couple both consummate their marriage on before being embalmed to resemble a classicist painting. With a cast of eight playing in modern dress, Romeo and Mercutio’s late night confrontations with the Capulet boys look like one more Saturday night post closing time pagga between assorted smart but casual types looking after their respective manors.

Romeo’s name may not be down for the party to end them all, but it’s here he stumbles into Rachel Spicer’s Juliet, a checked-shirt and Daisy Duke denim shorts sporting Tomboy kicking against the nouveau riche glamour of her parents and the bow-tie sporting geek they’ve set her up with. Inbetween being mortified by some embarrassing Dad dancing, Juliet falls head over heels as she blossoms into womanhood.

Stylistically, then, Marcus Romer and Katie Posner’s production works a treat. While the senior Montagues are excised from the play completely, Friar Lawrence becomes a hip vicar who spouts liberation theology in sandals and a t-shirt with a picture of Jesus that resembles Che Guevara. There is even a last minute hint that it is a jealous Lady Capulet who sells Romeo his poison. It’s just a shame that such an otherwise vivid and modern treatment is let down by some patchy acting which, outside of Spicer and Oliver Wilson as Romeo, resorts to surface mannerisms where, in front of a schools matinee audience, truth counts most of all.

The Herald, November 1st 2010



Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …