Review of Romeo and Juliet, Sherman Cymru by Bethan Hooton

Nurse

 

Nurse played by Anita Reynolds

Romeo played by Chris Gordon

Photograph Credit Mark Douet

The production of Romeo and Juliet at Sherman Cymru was exciting and fun, as an audience member I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. The actors portrayed their characters in a realistic and comprehensible way. Even though the play was in Shakespearean English, I knew what was happening because of how the actors performed their roles, and their facial expressions. Throughout the whole play each actor stayed in character, and not once slipped up. During the Capulet’s party, I kept diverting my attention from Romeo and Juliet to see what the other characters were doing, and each one of them was doing something. Whether it be dancing or having a drink, they were never just there.

I really loved the fact that the Sherman modernized the play. The costumes and music were not from fourteenth/fifteenth century, but were from the twenty first century, which gave the play a really unique twist. The music really added something to the play, and made it much more entertaining for the younger audience.

The set was one of the best aspects of the whole play. The set designer, Kenny Miller, obviously had put a lot of thought into it. At the beginning when I saw the stage I wondered how they would show the balcony scene between Romeo and Juliet, I mean there wasn’t a balcony anywhere in sight. Well, I was absolutely amazed by how the balcony was revealed to be behind, what I thought was, just a street wall covered with posters. Absolutely amazing! The set had been so carefully designed and you could see that from the start. I loved how the Capulet’s mausoleum was right at the front, but also kind of unnoticeable until right at the end. The detail in the set design really blew my mind and I cannot begin to imagine how much time was put into creating it.

Whilst studying the play in school I didn’t really pay attention to characters such as Benvolio and Mercuito, they were just side characters. This production completely changed my mind. If it were not for those characters the play would not be nearly as excellent as it was. The actors who portrayed Benvolio Linden Walcott-Burton and Mercuito Scott Reid were incredible. I cannot believe that I hadn’t given them a second thought before. Benvolio was such a strong character. No head-turn, hand-gesture or line was unimportant. I was entranced as I watched him. I don’t cry at plays, but as I watched Mercuito die, tears came to my eyes. It was so realistic and believable! Scott Reid is a phenomenal actor and I would love to see him in other productions.

There are no words to describe how much I loved the Nurse played by Anita Reynolds. Her pink tracksuit, hairstyle and sassy persona had me enthralled every time she was on stage. I found myself just staring at the Nurse even when she wasn’t speaking, just to see the eye-roll I knew was coming.

romeo and juliet

Romeo played by Chris Gordon

Juliet played by Sophie Melville

Photograph Credit Mark Douet

The love and angst between Romeo played by Chris Gordon and Juliet played by Sophie Melville was portrayed perfectly! I could not fault the actors at all. I love how Romeo was dressed and how Juliet was a typical teenage girl. It just added to the play and made it easier to understand.

I absolutely loved the production of Romeo and Juliet directed by Rachel O’Riordan at the Sherman Theatre. It was unbelievable! The set and music were brilliant! Each character was portrayed fantastically and I would love to see the play over and over again. If I had to choose between watching the 1996 film version of Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo DiCaprio and The Sherman Theatres version, I would pick the Sherman’s version without a second thought.

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