WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHEN?: via livestream 10 July 2021, runs to 17 October 2021
RUNTIME?: 110 minutes (no interval)
There’s a screen above the stage which alternates statements and statistics to highlight the mental health issues raised in this tragedy but also how young people are affected today.
- Read on for reasons including how this livestream was bedevilled with problems
‘Patriarchy is a system in which men hold all the power’ is one of the statements and ‘About 20 per cent of teenagers experience depression before they reach adulthood’ one of the statistics.
Cast members also appear during scenes to recite the new sentence just to underline them which feels a little clunky although does succeed in reframing a well-worn tale into something of relevance particularly to a younger audience.
The dress is modern day and we enjoyed the novelty of seeing bicycles on the Globe stage as well as the ‘Good vibes only’ and Aaliyah T-shirts worn during the show by the titular couple.
We’re watching because Alfred Enoch is one of this country’s finest young actors and we’ve enjoyed him in a range of roles including opposite Alfred Molina in Red at the Wyndhams, Crave at Chichester Festival Theatre and The Picture Of Dorian Grey online.
His Romeo does give him the opportunity to show his range and we felt he was more than matched by Rebekah Murrell’s Juliet who we’ve also seen in Nine Night (Trafalgar Studios) and Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp (Royal Court).
Director Ola Ince has had success previously at the Royal Court and Young Vic and, although we weren’t full onboard with this reimagining, it is refreshing to see this venue embracing something new rather than going down the tried and tested route it has trodden well before.
Elsewhere within the cast we would have liked to have seen more of Adam Gillen’s Mercutio, who was nominated Olivier for Best Supporting Actor opposite Orlando Bloom in Killer Joe at Trafalgar Studios.
Our livestream experience hasn’t helped with our finding it difficult to embrace this production. We were caught in a queue which meant we missed the start of it and so were delighted when the venue shared a link with us to view it later however there was a problem with the sound which marred the final 20 minutes or so.
It was also going to struggle coming so soon after the National’s fine Romeo and Juliet film.