The Rubbish Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet is a fantastic introduction for children to Shakespeare. Promising ‘enemies, balconies, kissing and sausage rolls’ the show did not disappoint.
The Rubbish Shakespeare Company has succeeded in making Shakespeare accessible. Whilst staying true to some of the text (I’m sure), and keeping the characters in check. The four actors bring to life Romeo and Juliet in a way which engages its audience- young and not so young alike. A success of the piece was in the actors stepping in and out of character without confusion. Much of the laughter is brought from the interaction between the four actors who work as an excellent team. In translating Shakepeare’s work, the company manage to incorporate much humour around the edges. I doubt I’m the only parent still listening to their child repeating “I’m an angel, I’m an angel”.
If you asked my 9 year-old now to tell you the story of Romeo and Juliet I think she’d probably get it about 90% accurate, in an abridged version. With the benefit she thinks Shakespeare is fun, and entertaining. There is an element that one day she’ll probably have to tear apart Shakepeare’s iambic pentameter trying to understand its meaning, so this could be cruel. But for now, I’m a fan of making Shakespeare fun, so young people are not put off on the first appearance of the text.
Romeo and Juliet is a fun production, it is translated on stage as improvised and unrehearsed. And this is the joy. Whilst the children may have a view that many of the happenings on stage were for their benefit, the pace and timing of the piece suggests this is a planned and well executed production.
Disclosure: We have media accreditation for the Edinburgh Fringe. All views and opinions contained are our own.