Romeo and Juliet (1987): Young Vic Theatre
PrRomeo and Juliet (1987)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Annette Badland (Nurse); John Elmes (Mercutio); Sarah-Jane Fenton (Juliet); Richard Huw (Romeo); Anthony Wellington (Tybalt).
PRINCIPAL CAST (1988 tour): Janet Crawford (Nurse); Sarah-Jane Fenton (Juliet); Colin McFarlane (Mercutio); Clive Owen (Romeo); Anthony Wellington (Tybalt).
This production ran from 23 October - 21 November 1987. It appears to be a revival of the 1986 production of Romeo and Juliet at the Young Vic, directed by David Thacker. Colin McFarlane was in the original production, but not in this revival. The production toured in the spring of 1988, as there is an extant programme from the Theatre Royal, Lincoln at the V&A Theatre and Performance archive. This is the cast that was likely that for the 1987 revival.
"This is the Young Vic making a direct bid for the attention of teenagers, who must provide the bulk of their box office take these days. It means, therefore, modern dress - bleakly economical (the boring set is an L-shaped grey scaffolding) with a splitting of the social fabric replacing an aristocratic Veronese society with a disco-dancing Juliet and Romeo and his beer-swilling mates mostly resembling any bunch you might meet in a bus queue. I cannot accept a nurse who is brassy in flashy sit-com clothes fresh from bingo and her Peter, transformed here into the family chauffeur....Colin McFarlane's Mercutio is one of the best I have seen in years. There is mischeviousness in this concept, turning into a bitter tragedy, and I have never seen the Queen Mab speech handled better." ~ Richard Edmonds, "Romeo and Juliet at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton", Birmingham Post, 22 March 1988
"On the other hand so young and fresh a Juliet happily raises the role of the Nurse and Friar Laurence to the point where the terrible consequences of the lovers' match become their tragedy as much as the families' and two fine performances from Annette Badland as a vivid flame-haired Brummie and Rudolph Walker as a sort of West Indian father confessor figures almost steal the show. Indeed, if this production is to be remembered it will be for the overall quality of its acting. From Peter Theedom's Capulet - shades of Norman Tebbit here - to Jane Maud as his nervous sophisticated wife and Anthony Wellington as a powerful Tybalt is a treat." ~ John Vidal, "Romeo and Juliet", The Guardian, 28 October 1987