Romeo and Juliet (2015): Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol
PrRomeo and Juliet (2015)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Paapa Essiedu (Romeo); Craig Fuller (Tybalt); Oliver Hoare (Mercutio); Timothy Knightley (Capulet); Sally Oliver (Nurse); Daisy Whalley (Juliet).
This production ran from 19 February - 4 April 2015 at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol and then embarked on a national tour from 13 May - 27 June 2015.
"The kids are taking over the theatre company Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory. Not only is a young guest director, Polina Kalinina, in charge for only the second time in SATTF's history, this much-told fable about the battle between youth and age is given a revamp that will make anyone over the age of 25 worry about being past it. Partly this is down to the youthfulness of Kalinina's cast: Daisy Whalley's tweenage Juliet practically glows with childhood innocence; Paapa Essiedu's Romeo has the loping grace of a young tomcat, and turns up for his wedding day in what appears to be his dad's suit. Emma Bailey's striking designs place us in a world that resembles the Paris of 1968 with a touch of steampunk. The stage is dominated by a merry-go-round - a children's toy, a war zone, a lovers' bed and, inevitably a bier. It's a hectic ride and its strongest in the sections where the Montagues and Capulets face off, bearing a disquieting resemblance to sulky teenage droogs from A Clockwork Orange. This is Verona permanently on the edge of violence, where playground rough-and-tumble can swiftly flip into something much more dangerous. The fight scenes are choreographed with such skidding physicality you fear for the safety of the front row. Not everything feels quite so alive: the chemistry between the lovers doesn't always match the testosterone in evidence on the streets, and sometimes the production suffers from an overabundance of ideas. At its best, however, this is thrilling work." ~ Andrew Dickson, The Guardian, 10 March 2015