We got to see another play, Romeo and Juliet for my Shakespeare class. It was put on at the New Diorama, a little theater about 10 minutes from where we are staying. I was honestly dreading this one so much. After the last play (King Henry IV Part 2), I was not quite ready for another boring Shakespeare play. When I was reading the play I was making frustrating sounds and pulling at my hair. People were probably concerned, but really? the whole love at first sight? I do not buy it, and the adults could have done so much more to stop the two from getting married, especially the nurse and Friar Lawrence.
We first walked in there were about eight people jumping around on stage, ranging in age from 14 to 25 from the looks of it. One of them was shouting the prologue over and over again to the point where I was thinking “Just stop, wait until the play starts to say your lines.” None of them were in old time costumes, and I was thinking “Are these the actors? They might wanna get ready soon…” Then the beat dropped and they all screamed “IN FAIR VERONA WHERE WE LAY OUR SCENE!” and started dancing and throwing fake punches. My first reaction: I can live with this.
They continued to tell the story of how Juliet was drunk when she first met Romeo, having just taken a ton of shots in the back of the stage, and how Friar Lawrence smoked some plant, obviously it wasn’t weed. The party the Capulets hosted was actually like a dance club. It was such an interesting take that made the whole plot of “falling in love” make sense. It showed the horrible, unloving relationship between Lady Capulet and Juliet, even portraying Juliet’s death to seem more like an inconvenience than anything else. The actors and actresses were also really marvelous. Juliet somehow managed to win me over, she looked hopeful, lustful, and full of anger all at the same time. Sometimes she spoke like she was looking for just the right words to say and she sounded like a teenager as well as her mannerisms, something the not-so-modern adaptations don’t capture.
The only major complaint I had was all the characters were on stage at all times. They were all in the background doing different things, whether it was doing costume changes or acting out what their characters were doing while the scene was going on. It was a little distracting. Also, during intermission Juliet was still on stage and the lights dimmed to her and then the house lights went up, I was questioning whether it was intermission or not until the guy propped the door open for us.
In all, tickets were £17.40. I would definitely recommend this to everyone.