My teens are embarking on their GCSE curricula. Romeo and Juliet is their set Shakespeare. So when I spotted Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe advertised I naturally booked tickets. The teens informed me that they have already watched two films and staged several scenes in class but that they were willing to see a different production.
Any expectation of being plunged into renaissance Verona were scrapped in the opening seconds. Loud music and gunfire is the order of the day in this production. All the actors have black and white face paint that blurs and smudges as the play continues. Everything is very LOUD. Lines are shouted. Music pulses out. The Capulet’s ball, where the star crossed lovers meet is kicked off with an enthusiastic rendition of the Village People’s YMCA. The woman sat next to us leapt to her feet and joined in the dancing. Romeo and Juliet at the Shakespeare’s Globe is not full of sighing maidens gazing at the stars.
A balcony, there must be a balcony. Not so much. Well sort of. Juliet paces back and forth across the stage that has become her balcony. Romeo appears amidst the crowd gathered at her feet. He has a step ladder to set him up above the common crowd. That eventually serves as his means to join Juliet in her bower. It’s funny and gets lots of laughs. For me that sort of sums up the production, the comic moments were very funny but the tragedy of the lovers somehow gets lost in shouting.
We booked tickets in the top tier right above the stage, this meant our view was a little obscured but not enough to hamper our enjoyment. The seats are actually wooden benches so we hired cushions at a pound a cushion to prevent numb bums.
The verdict of the teens? It was different, not bad different but different.
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ROMEO AND JULIET at Shakespeare’s Globe
21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT
on until Sunday 9 July 2017
Prices range from £5 to stand in the yard upto £45 for the best seat in the house. Under 18’s are three off for all seats. You can book tickets by clicking here
Londoners have been coming to Bankside for centuries to enjoy themselves, check out my Bankside Beyond Borough Market post for more ideas about what to do and where to stay.