Attending my first ever morning performance at the Lighthouse, we (Michelle – friend and editor of this publication and I) found ourselves surrounded by school children eager to experience a Shakespeare classic set in their own time and their own language.
Whilst theatre company, Box Clever were aiming at stimulating an audience aged 11 and above, I personally found the performance ‘edgy’ and refreshing. Although sceptical of an abridged version of the Bard’s good works I found to my surprise that I did not really mind as other elements of the performance really set the scene and told the story of the star crossed young lovers in an exciting renewal of this timeless tale of woe.
Contemporary dynamism, effective use of lighting and punchy sound effects really did set the stage for the minimal cast of three to deliver an energetic and believable performance combining elements of modern dance and music with stealthy athleticism and a passion for the subject of romance.
A minimal but imaginative theatre set alternatively darkened and illuminated the set to powerfully create the threat of feudal violence and the incredible brightness of the young lovers over gathering clouds of tragedy.
The whole performance was skilfully pulled together by the talented and engaging contemporary narrator whom may have been a friend to the young people in the audience, or at least someone they could relate to, and who cleverly made sure that they gained an understanding of everything they were seeing, hearing and feeling. Emotion was a palpable force in the audience and made for a unique interactive theatre experience.
This unique and compelling version of Romeo and Juliet comes highly recommended. The Box Clever performance is still touring various locations, to find your local one or to book tickets visit the Box Clever website.
Words by Wendy Imashev and images courtesy of Box Clever’s Flickr page