Upper Fourth students, among many other groups, enjoyed an innovative and inspirational production of Romeo and Juliet.
A review of Romeo and Juliet at The Globe in London
We had been studying 'Romeo and Juliet' for around half a term before going to see it at The Globe Theatre. Because of this, our knowledge was already fairly plentiful, or so we thought, however our trip to London shed entirely new light on the play we all thought we knew in some depth. We found that the character that most interested us in the production was Capulet, as the actor who portrayed him (Gareth Snook) was not, at first glance, a particularly imposing figure. In fact in one of the first scenes, the Capulet party, he was wearing a crude dinosaur costume and singing the lead vocals in a rendition of Y.M.C.A. As you can imagine, it was a frightening sight, but a very different sort of frightening to the one a reader would associate with Capulet. Nevertheless as the climax of the story approached Snook blew the audience away with his famous argument with Juliet. Gareth Snook’s persona took on a quiet rage that was unnerving for the audience, from one so comical before. We found that this production was completely different to any other Romeo and Juliet that we have seen, the atmosphere was very unique and characters were perfectly crafted.
The theatre itself is set out like a typical Jacobean theatre, modelled off the original Globe built by Shakespeare’s thespian company. The stage is designed to accommodate any Shakespeare play, using three levels of staging and above all the musicians’ gallery. Despite the performance being far from it, the stage itself created the sense of a 16th century production, from the crowded space of the pit, where audience members stand for the duration, to the galleries where patrons, such as ourselves enjoy a full view of the stage, similar to what members of the British aristocracy would have seen many years ago. To increase authenticity the Globe structure is mostly wooden, using the vice which brought an end to the original theatre to a newfound success. When one was to look above the stage, the roofing of the theatre, or lack thereof it, was thatched like a traditional Tudor house, adding to the buildings great heritage. This open design allows the stage to be lit by natural light in the daytime which enhances the authenticity of the theatre. The Globe is a truly Shakespearean theatre.
Overall, the trip was extremely enjoyable with creative actions that perfectly paired the language. However, there was one problem: the heat. The blazing and scorching sun shone down throughout the day and despite the fact summer sun is enjoyable. It was hard to keep comfortable in a packed out open top theatre without air-conditioning. However, the weather did not stop the experience from being something that will be remembered forever and the Globe certainly helped cool down its audience. During the interval, there were plenty of opportunities to keep hydrated and refreshed, with water fountains where one could refill empty water-bottles, and stands where you could buy lemonade and ice-creams. The seating at the Globe was very good and we would recommend using it upon visit as it stopped the harsh elements of London from becoming unbearable.
Written by Jim, Verity, and Ruby