Saturday, 16 July 2016

Romeo and Juliet in the '50s

I recently wrote a blog post about the Phantom of the Opera. Before we went to see the musical, we went to see Romeo and Juliet in the Garrick Theatre. This was on the 6th of July. We actually came back to London to go see this particular play because, I felt so bad for not going to see it after meeting Lily James (who played Juliet). So we decided to go back to London to see her and Richard Madden (Romeo in the play and the previous King in the North). Unfortunately for us, Richard Madden was unable to perform the day we were there (he was played by Tom Hanson) due to a bruised ankle, but at least the tickets were cheaper because of 'restricted views' (which was not actually true because we had a perfect view) due to it being filmed that day and the day after.

Nevertheless, we got to see the play; yay! Lily James was really good and funny as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet set in the 1950's. During the break the couple behind us went on about how she was too intense in the role and it made the character seem childish, which to me was funny because that's exactly how the role should be performed. She is barely 14 and she's supposed to be giddy, cute and young.

The play appeared to be very well thought out. Most of the lines were the same (according to the script book I bought at the theatre about 80% of the original lines were used in the play). Yet it was set in a more recent time and hence the atmosphere was a bit different (in sense of decorum and society) but the story remained the same; same enemies. However, the prince was no longer a prince but a sheriff (or at least he was dressed as one, in the script he's still referred to as the prince) and Mercutio is played by Derek Jacobi (who was excellent and very funny), which may seem odd considering Mercutio is supposed to be about the same age as Romeo in the original play but it worked very well in this particular play.

After the play we decided to wait outside, hoping Lily James would come out. Unfortunately for us she did not,  but I was able to give my essay and a letter to her bodyguard. We waited outside for a while (we had time to kill before The Phantom) and met a french girl, who like us came to London specifically for this play. She was here for one day only and she was leaving the same night. Poor thing did get the chance to meet Lily (or Richard for that matter), but she met us and we talked for a long while. All in all it was a good choice to go back :)

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