Romeo and Juliet | Smock Alley Theatre
Star Rating: 2/5
Tickets available here.
Title: Romeo and Juliet
Venue: Smock Alley Boys School
When: 7.30pm until the 13th of November
Cast: Cate MacGabhann, Colin Campbell, Melanie Phillips, Joan Merriman, Stephen Lynch, Jamie O’Neill, Neill Fleming, Karen Davidson Perrins, Barry O’Neill, Paul McGuinness, Oliver McGrane, Neil McManus, Natasha Anderson, Maggie Donovan, Paul Elliot, Edel Murphy, Will Murphy, Stephen Gorman
Director: Laura White
If you take the number of characters killed across Shakespeare’s vast collection of tragedies, and multiply that by a million you’re probably not even vaguely close to the amount of times his work has been slaughtered on stages worldwide at the hands of companies who are out of their depth. While Cracked Light’s Romeo and Juliet isn’t without some merit, mostly stemming from individual talent in the cast and the vision in set and lighting design, there are too many errors in this production teamed with an overall amateur feel for it to be deemed a success.
Another saving grace for this play is, well, the play. Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best loved works and the story itself, while familiar to many, is enough to keep you somewhat engaged. The tale of the star-crossed lovers from feuding households who go to drastic lengths to be together, losing friends and family members in the process, allows ample room for great passion and heightened drama in its realisation and yet this production falls at the first hurdle in the casting of the title roles. Cate MacGabhann and Colin Campbell have as much chemistry as could be contained in the vial that holds Romeo’s fatal poison and, although it would be unfair to say they are without talent, are miscast in the roles, completely lacking the heat and romance that is pivotal to this, the greatest love story ever told. However, the casting in general isn’t completely off the mark with a highly truthful and entertaining performance from Melanie Philips in the role of the nurse and a wacky but accomplished turn from John Merriman as Mercutio.
Despite these shining lights there are one too many moments in the play that break the suspension of disbelief: Simple mistakes such as a price tag hanging from Juliet’s dress and the cast quaffing from glasses long after the liquid had been drained could be easily avoided and operate to call the professionalism of the production into question and ultimately frustrate the audience. It’s no mean feat to take on Shakespeare and on this occasion it seems that Romeo and Juliet was too lofty an ambition for this particular company.
Review by: Lauren O'Toole
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Friday 11th November 2011 | Theatre
Is this the same play I saw and thoroughly enjoyed? I went to see this on the basis of the review in Lecooland really enjoyed it. Granted the interpretation/direction could have had more depth but I thought Cate and Colin did well, almost in spite of the superficial nature of the direction. There were two different sets of Romeo and Juliet. Which night were you there?Posted 20:11 | Wed 16th Nov 2011
That's a bit harsh! The Romeo and Juliet that I saw, Colin Campbell and Cate MacGabhann, gave a fine interpretation of rash teenagers in lurve! The Nurse, Melanie Phillips, and Mercutio, John Merriman, were in fine fettle. Good casting all round, in my opinion!Posted 21:42 | Wed 16th Nov 2011
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