Romeo and Juliet at the Sydney Fringe Festival

REVIEW

Lewis Scamozzi

Experimental theatre and “modern re workings” are not usually my thing. Quite often it’s all about shock value and the actors yelling with no linking story at all. So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I saw this show. From the raw and fresh spin on an old story to the amazing ensemble cast, this is truly theatre not to be missed.

What was really refreshing was that the actors were working hard the entire time. Their commitment, energy and ability to work so well with each other and be in the same world is truly fantastic to watch. Each performer plays multiple parts, which is one of the  key strengths of the show. A particular mention has to go out to Emily Elise Watson and her extremely fresh portrayal of Lady Capulet. Beautifully supported by Pollyanna Nowicki as Juliet, she goes all out and shows us the strong woman that Lady Capulet can be.

The set and lighting are also very impressive. The simplest things like blankets, boxes and human bodies are used to set each scene and are beautifully supported by lighting. Costuming is again very simple, the cast are often ¾ naked, using just one piece of clothing to symbolize  their character. The minimalism works well, ensuring the aesthetics never distract from the story.

Another impressive aspect of the show was the choreographed fight scenes. When  stage fights are so co ordinated and predictable that it takes away from the theatre experience, it can be hard not to laugh. This isn’t the case with this show, as once again the actors seem to go all out- not surprisingly, several injured themselves during the run. Guys fight girls and the girls fight back-  it has never looked cooler on stage.

Kudos must go to director Erica J Brennan. She has chosen the best parts of the play to present to the audience whilst blending it beautifully with poetry and song. One of the best pieces of fringe theatre I have seen in my 3 years in Sydney.

Lewis Scamozzi is an actor, director and guest contributor to The Shelf.

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