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“Romeo & Juliet”


Another excellent Shakespeare production from Sue Sachon and TADS.  


The theatre was transformed from a performance space to a street in Verona – made possible by the thought and vision of David Sachon – who designed the set, Andrew Naish – who designed the scenes and painted the set, and a team of set builders.


The lighting from Paul Horsler was extremely good – and there were certain lighting effects that were incredibly atmospheric enhancing the actual play and the feeling within the dialogue.


I loved the music – it was very apt, and a mixture of modern and more traditional – but very well-chosen.  Sound effects were good too, Josh Halsey managed that side of the production well.


Scene changes were all effected with what appeared to be ease and precision, and the props used were in keeping with the feel of the production.


I thought the blend of modern clothing and the more traditional costumes worked well, and helped give the production a more contemporary feel.


It was very long, as is most Shakespeare, but it kept the interest of the audience, I didn’t feel the production dragged.


Sue Sachon always puts so much into a production and the guidance of her cast, to create an overall picture where everyone slots seamlessly into the whole.


I loved the opening – it was fierce and full of action, and really drew the audience into the action from the start, very well staged and acted. The fight scenes were very evocative and believable.


I thought the pairing of Steve Loczy as Romeo and Jenna Kay as Juliet was first rate – they looked good together, and interacted well.  Steve always gives a fine performance, he has an instinctive understanding of how to deliver lib, I loved the nuances and expression within his interpretation.


I felt that Jenna, in her first principal Shakespeare role for TADS, really stepped up and delivered the girl who suddenly falls in love and becomes a woman, with all the insecurities and feistiness we associate with a young girl.  Well done.


Malcolm Steven and Judy Palmer were Lord and Lady Montague, they contrasted well with the more stately Capulet’s played by David Sachon and Tracey Chatterley – I particularly liked Tracey’s demeanour throughout – she had the hauteur of a Lady, with the more soft feeling of a mother towards her daughter.


I thought that of all the various Montague and Capulet relations, Unami Tenga was particularly good, he is improving with every performance I see, and gave his performance a more contemporary feel with great believability.


Joe Hawkins played dual roles of Tybalt and Friar Lawrence.  He was very fiery as Tybalt, which created a good foil to the other men, he then gave us a creditable Friar.


Peter Carter-Brown was a very flamboyant Mercutio, which I enjoyed as a contrast to the other men, but I thought it was a shame that he also had to play another high profile role i.e. that of Paris – it sort of spoiled the illusion, although Peter endeavoured to make the difference by giving Paris a younger, softer edge.


Also in her first outing in Shakespeare was Dee Lovelock, who played the role of the garrulous Nurse – I loved her first speech, and the reactions from Lady Capulet and Juliet – overall a very good portrayal, with plenty of ups and downs in passions and expression.


Sophie Venn took on the part of Escalus, giving us plenty of energy and a real feel of power that the Governor of Verona should have – nicely achieved.


The other smaller parts within the play were undertaken by members of the company, often doubling up as servants etc, I particularly liked Isabelle Lepore in her role as Chorus – she spoke well with understanding of the words and good projection.


Overall an excellent production with good performances, that really brought Romeo and Juliet to life.
























TADS

 “ROMEO & JULIET” TADS Theatre, Toddington

review date 12th May 2016

Written, Directed & Produced by: Sue Sachon

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