Romeo & Juliet

Shakespeare4kidz

Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

***

YOU have to hand it to this clever company for finding a formula which makes Shakespeare enjoyable for young children, with the help of smart acting, catchy tunes and slick humour.

Hundreds of youngsters from schools around the Midlands laughed, applauded, cheered and even fought back the tears at the tragic end to the famous love story involving a boy and girl from the feuding Montague and Capulet families in Verona.

The enthusiastic cast - wearing modern costumes - held the attention of the audiences from start to finish, with Noel Andrew Harron a bundle of fun as Romeo's loyal pal, Mercutio. Shame he had to disappear from the action when he became the first victim in a knife fight with Tybalt Capulet (Jack Bannell).

Tybalt, in turn, was dispatched by the angry Romeo Montague (Tom Stephenson) who was promptly banished by Prince Escalus (Stephen McGlynn) but returned for the heart-breaking finale with Juliet the lover he had secretly married from the rival family, played by Olivia Chenery.

Fine performances, too, from Emma-Louise Bennett, Juliet's nurse, and Antony Stuart-Hicks as Friar Lawrence who has a clever plan which backfires.

Romeo & Juliet, with music provided by Tom Turner (keyboards) and Antoine Edery (drums), was produced by Julian Chenery and Carolyn Chenery.

Paul Marston 

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