REVIEW: Romeo and Juliet, The Nuffield

IT’S the tragedy of star-crossed lovers that we all think we know.

Yet thanks to the skills of set and costume designer Helen Goddard, we know from the opening scene depicting supporters of the feuding Montague and Capulet families, that Headlong Theatre’s production will have a modern, urban feel.

We meet the spirited and passionate teenage Juliet (Catrin Stewart) with her headphones and her tracky bottoms, her confidante, the motormouth nurse (Brigid Zengeni). A party is arranged so that Juliet may meet her father Capulet’s choice of suitor, Paris. But Juliet has already declared her love for Romeo.

Keith Bartlett also gives a standout performance as the ambitious and proud Capulet, as do Tim Mothersdale as a witty Mercutio, and Danny Kirrane as Benvolio, full of northern warmth and bravado. At times the wordplay amongst the “Montague massive” was masterful.

Simon Coates’ delivery as the well-intentioned Friar Lawrence was excellent too, especially at his moment of realisation at what must be the play’s inevitable, fateful conclusion.

Romeo and Juliet runs until Saturday, February 18.

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