#romeoandjuliet is definitely one of the more unique approaches to the classic Shakespeare play. Performed by Lily Fish and Kimberley Twiner, #romeoandjuliet is a fun and laughter inducing circus romp, despite slightly missing the mark on the Shakespeare elements.
An enthusiastic, though slightly nervous Lily Fish – in the role of Stephanie, greets the audience. Through the introduction we learn that the setting we have walked into is that of a circus, one boasting many attractions – from a strong woman to a contortionist. Those who may have thought this performance was based around Romeo and Juliet may be feeling slightly confused at this point.
The general premise is that of the downtrodden and mistreated circus assistant, Stephanie, played by Fish. Joining her on stage is the overeager and excitable circus producer/ringmaster played by Kimberley Twiner. With lacking circus acts and a frequently disappearing ringmaster, Stephanie finds solace in a copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that she finds.
Both Fish and Twiner capture the audience for the entirety of the show, their mannerisms and movements in sync as they attempt to re-enact the great circus acts of old. Both draw laughs from the audience consistently throughout the night – despite a few cheesy jokes and unnecessary moments, the show itself works in a slapstick sort of way.
While the show presents and advertises itself as a take of Romeo and Juliet – the actual premise and feel of the classic play is definitely lacking. The only real parts that we experience are when the character of Stephanie reads out sections in a longing tone as the Ringmaster disappears. It’s unfortunate that more of the story could not be entwined with that of Romeo and Juliet, as many parts felt disjointed from what the actual show was intended to be about. While the idea may have been to capture the idea of two star crossed lovers – and through that, to emulate the themes of Romeo and Juliet – this did not happen, instead the ending felt rushed and a little out of place.
#romeoandjuliet is the perfect performance to see if you’re in the mood for laughter and a bit of slapstick comedy.
#romeoandjuliet is showing from 16th January to the 21st of January at La Mama Theatre as part of Midsumma Festival 2018. Tickets can be purchased here.