Romeo and Juliet: Bard In the Botanics (3 stars)

Romeo and Juliet: Bard In the Botanics

credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Shakespeare gets some Pride

With the splashy design and verve not dissimilar to an episode of Ru Paul's Drag Race courtesy of Carys Hobbs, this adaptation of Shakespeare's ultimate 'star-cross'd lovers', directed by Jennifer Dick, seems very much in keeping with the months of June and July and the Pride festivities.

This Verona wears its rainbow colours unabashedly. Thus, the Nurse becomes a superb, gallusly Glaswegian Angel (Darren Brownlie) sashaying in silver gown, and enormous wings, to party bangers. He's Juliet's couthy GBF, dispensing wisdom; while expressing disapproval at her love for the boy from the rival Montagues.

Dick's tender, romantically-charged scenes are well suited to the warm evening air. Rebecca Robin's Juliet is a headstrong tomboy who melts but never compromises; Dylan Blore suits the fleet footed, callow youthfulness of Romeo at the inception, than his more introspective moments later on.

It doesn't skimp on the play's duality, though, with some brutal fight sequences from John Winchester. The most potent scene is not the poisonous finale, but rather, when Mercutio (Esme Bayley) squares up to swaggering Tybalt (Michael Lorsong). Both share the arrogance and balletic grace of boxers, reminding the crowd that gender is but a social construct, and all humans utterly foolish.

Run ended

Romeo and Juliet

Jennifer Dick directs Shakespeare's tragic love story of two young lovers from warring families.

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