Review: Romeo & Juliet

The Bard is back. After a long absence from the Eastbourne stage, the classic tale of starcrossed lovers, Romeo and JulietĒ opened this week. 

Birmingham Rep and The Touring Consortium's stylish adaptation, directed by Bill Bryden, is a feast for the senses. The huge set looks like it has crash landed and is at such a steep rake it offers an intimate feel. 

The large, talented cast includes Gerald Harper, displaying imposing stage presence as Friar Laurence, Su Pollard, who gains laughs aplenty as the nurse, and Gus Gallagher as Mercutio, who has the teenage girls in the audience swooning. 

Of course, the evening belongs to Romeo, RADA graduate and relative newcomer Jamie Doyle, and his wideeyed and beautiful Juliet, played by Anjali Jay. 

This classy presentation of Shakespeare's classic is a treat. The costumes, with a modern twist, deserve note, as does the music by John Tams and the effective lighting by John Harris.

The Argus
February 2006