THEATRE REVIEW: Romeo and Juliet ★★★

Romeo and Juliet
The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Friday 15th May 2015

This production of Shakespeare’s most well known play, Romeo and Juliet, was brought together by The Tobacco Factory. Entering the auditorium, you are faced with a bare stage with only a child’s playground roundabout situated on stage, and if you're lucky to be sat in the stalls around the front, you may also get the opportunity to see yourself, as also suspended on stage is a hanging large circular mirror, which helped with some certain scenes in the play that were a little hard to see if you sat down in the auditorium stall level. You also walk into the space with the sound of a ball rolling around a roulette wheel; showcasing fantastic symbolism of chance and risks, two main themes within this production.

The action itself and the direction it took the story was unlike any that I have seen before. I loved how youthful the whole first act was, and the complete contrast within the second act; the lighting effects were distinctive and creative, and the actors really captivated the story. There were, however, a few aspects of the production that I felt really lacked the potential that could have been something a lot more stronger; the whole balcony scene between Romeo and Juliet felt like a complete undeveloped scene, and one that I sadly couldn't connect with, as the positioning between both actors felt awkward, causing sight line issues as Romeo stood away from the stage, to go into the front of the stage and lean on the arch that the theatre provided.

There was though many beautifully creative designs with the production though, including the ballroom scene, which cleverly included all the cast and ensemble, as well as all the fight scenes which were choreographed neatly and effortlessly. The iconic death scene at the end also felt very naturalistic and genuine, which was exactly what was needed in this very climactic scene.

Overall, this production felt creative and fresh the majority of the time, but sadly felt lacked some missed directional cues in places, but never the less, everyone who gets the chance should see this beautiful production.


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