Romeo and Juliet (1988): London Actors Theatre Company, Latchmere Theatre, London
PrRomeo and Juliet (1988)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Alastair Cumming (Tybalt); Patricia Ede (Nurse); Kieran McCrystal (Romeo); Julie Saunders (Juliet); Andrew Solomon (Mercutio).
This production ran from 27 April - 28 May 1988. Casting information relevant to this database may be incomplete as it has not been possible to confirm the identity of some of the cast as information in the programme is insufficient.
"A high-priestess in a scarlet headband and war-paint appears from a tent that is part Hiawatha/part fairground, and pronounces the prologue to the jarring accompaniment of a tom-tom drum. The cast, beautifully patched and wound in jewel-coloured muslim [sic] (that fails entirely to distinguish between Capulets and Montagues) resemble technicolour punks, jesters or harlequins. At the masque they perform a stomping war-dance routine, punctuated with oohs and grunts. Verona this most certainly is not. Chris Fisher and Mark Freeland have alighted upon a vaguely pagan setting where Fortune can let rip regardless on the star-cross'd lovers, but the production is otherwise without a controllig idea. Though Juliet (Julie Saunders) has an innocence that is never cloying and is nicely seasoned with spirit, all Romeo's (Kieran McCrystal) passions are spent as the moon-struck, posturing puppy and he never grows into a man of tragic structure. Performing with great haste - frequently lines are tipped out senselessly - and with total disregard for pace or dramatic tension, the lovers rush towards an utterly unmoving fate. Patricia Ede is excellent as a lively Cockney Nurse and Christopher Webber a sound and pedagogic Friar, but the production is all too reminiscent of a bad school play, superficial and shambolic" ~ GB, "Lovers, devils, saints and sinners", Independent, 4 May 1988