Reviewed by Fran Edwards
The Little Theatre is so perfect for performing Shakespeare and Paul Rodda‘s set gives the right feel without being over fussy. Sharon Maluilo has achieved the same with the costumes, beautifully done, but nothing to distract from the action. Megan Dansie pulls together a good team when she directs and this is no exception, she understands the Bard and does him justice. Kudos to the fencing instructors, Scott Curness and Mark Holgate, none of the combatants looked awkward or unsure with their weapons and Vanessa Redmond should be commended for choreographing in such a confined space without making it look over crowded. Technically there was a lot to like about this production, Scott Cleggett‘s lighting, and Mark Reynolds’s sound, all under Deborah Knapp as stage manager. Smooth scene changes and wonderful use of the attributes of this theatre.
But, I hear you say, what of the actors? I find even less to fault with them, they were well cast and delivered the lines mostly with complete understanding, there is not room to crit each one of them, so I will concentrate on those who moved me most. Brad Martin, resplendent in a remarkable costume was every inch the prince, commanding the stage whenever he appeared. Paul Rodda was eloquent as Mercutio and was not tripped by the convoluted lines, one of Paul’s best performances. Lindsay Dunn was venerable as Lord Montague but not quite sleazy enough as the Apothocary. As Lord Capulet, Steve Marvanek conveyed the mixed emotions of this role well and managed the light and shade necessary. Gary George was just the right mix as Friar Laurence wrestling with is conscience. Angela Short and Kate Rogers both gave good performance, as Lady Capulet and the Nurse, proving a good foil for Juliet and Jonathon Pheasant made good with the difficult role of Paris although I would have liked more passion.
The title roles of Romeo and Juliet were taken and filled beautifully by Akkshey Caplash and Abby Hampton. Caplash is new to the stage (never mind Shakespeare) but fills this role very well. His early dialogue was a little garbled, evidence of first night nerves, but he understood what he was saying and delivered the emotions well. Abby Hampton was born to play Juliet! She embraces the part and delivers a performance that is hard to fault.
If you love Shakespeare, do not miss this production.