Monday, 11 May 2015

Proud-Making - A review of R&J

On Thursday 7th May, the first night of our Romeo & Juliet, some ambassadors from a local school came - a group of 16-18 year olds. Hannah, one of those ambassadors, wrote this review. 

I can't tell you how happy it makes us to read it. 

It's press night tomorrow (Tuesday), so more formal reviews will follow. But, in all honesty, if a young person early in their theatre-going-life thinks this then I don't really mind what the formal press think. 

Thanks Hannah - we're damn pleased you like our show. 

The Flanagan Collective – Romeo and Juliet 

Utterly captivating: two words to sum up the kaleidoscope of emotions the Flanagan collective and their team have encapsulated in a simple two hours.

Where theatre is at its best is amongst the pillars and pews of St Olave’s church that the group have made their own, as they sing dance and move in a way that enhances an age old story to reveal new depths. In their adaptation of the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, they have encompassed qualities that are the foundations for the future of British theatre. They haven’t stumbled, like many, on the temptation to catapult Shakespeare into heights where it simply doesn’t belong, yet seem to have deciphered the core of the well-known verse and offered simply this, through creativity. 

To reveal too much detail would be to disrupt the wonderful spontaneity of the piece, a quality that simply makes you feel as though you were meant to be a part of the evening’s events; that you belong in the tale. Their engagement with the audience is spectacular in its ability to make you sit forward in your pew and grip onto the end of tragedy to which we all know the end, as if hearing it with fresh ears. Not only is this credit to the impressive creative overview of the piece, but the outstanding quality of the cast, who behave as though they have been with each other for years. In them we see a shared passion that clearly translates into their roles; a burning desire to tell a story which, in the way they deliver their words, hold much more than simply fable and rhyme. 

This is an absolute gem in British theatre, a must see if only, 5 years down the line, to say you saw it here first. With its energy, passion and drive, this is what Shakespeare was meant to be performed like, even if he didn’t know it. Beg, borrow and steal you way into the audience for this spectacle…you’ll be glad you did.


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