As a teenager in the late 90’s I grew up with a huge crush on Leonardo DiCaprio. Not some little thing I had my bedroom walls covered with his posters! I also liked his movies and one of my all time favourite films is Romeo & Juliet…I mean who couldn’t fall in love with Romeo in the underwater kissing scene right?!
Although I have seen the movie numerous times, I am a Shakespeare fan and I know almost every word of the Romeo & Juliet script, I have never seen it on stage.
Wow was I in for a treat this year as I got to review perhaps the most famous of all Shakespeare’s plays, Romeo & Juliet at The Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival
Led by Jack Paterson and Mark Modzelewski, two experienced directors who are new to the festival. I was taken to fair Verona, where a modern twist on classic tale was about to excite, thrill and captivate me.
In modern Verona, violence erupts between the Montague’s and Capulet’s with tragic consequences. With the death of their children, the citizens come together and through song, movement and story.
The Romeo (Mikey Howe) & Juliet (Helen Randall) scenes were romantic and spellbinding, the young actors were amazing at portraying the “star-cross’d lovers” with forbidden love and blind passion.
The actors playing Tybalt (Asha Cecil) and Mercutio (Jon Barnes) were quite suburb with a very realistic fight scene that would give Movie actors a run for their money, audiences were captivated by the scene that brings a plague on both houses.
All actors were great and well-directed, It was a pleasure to see such a young vibrant cast. Cari Barley who played nurse was very well rehearsed and although a slim blonde lady, I couldn’t help but imagine the nurse from 1996 Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet.
The stage set and lighting was spectacular and really fitting to each scene. The whole performance was beautiful.
My family and I bumped into some of the cast on Saturday afternoon in Bute Park while they were busy rehearsing scenes for the performance later that day. It was lovely to see such dedicated actors, my four year old was quite impressed with the fight scene they were rehearsing…he thought they were real life Power Rangers.
Romeo and Juliet is at The Cardiff Open Air Theatre until 30th July.
Book tickets for Romeo and Juliet today!
Photography by Keith Stanbury
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As a thank you for an honest review I received two tickets to the performance