Review: Romeo & Juliet

It was with an impending sense of doom I went to watch The Birmingham Repertory Theatre's production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. And not because I knew the ending!

Su Pollard of Hi-de-Hi fame plays the nurse and I was bracing myself for a panto-style adaptation; "Watch out Romeo, Tybalt's behind you!"

But the former chalet maid plays the part with style and graceful humour, and sets the tone perfectly for this tale of star-crossed lovers. She shares the celebrity limelight with Gerald Harper, better known as Hadleigh from the 1960s TV series, who plays Friar Laurence.

I've seen more versions of Romeo and Juliet than you can shake an apothecary's bottle of poison at, but very few which manage to capture the romance and magic of Shakespeare's great tragedy as successfully as this one. While the unknown leads seemed sometimes swamped by the pressure of the moment, their hesitancy added an endearing innocence to the young lovers.

Whether you're a fan of Shakespeare or not, on Valentine's week this most romantic of plays is a perfect treat.

Review by Emma Brown
IC North Wales
February 2006