Romeo and Juliet review: A proper love story at the Globe



lfred Enoch and Rebekah Murrell make sweetly convincing lovers on this pared-back, insightful however uneven manufacturing by Ola Ince. He’s a suave Romeo, whose protestations of affection have a component of showmanship. Her Juliet is coltish, strong-willed, deeply affecting and approach smarter than her beau. Their romance blossoms in opposition to a violent city backdrop, nearly too near present headlines for consolation.

On this Verona, nihilistic youths sing about preventing and suicide, snort white powder and cruise the streets with knives and BMX bikes underneath the lifeless gaze of CCTV cameras. It’s a spot of parental indifference and random cruelty, the place homicide and suicide are rendered with brutal starkness. Ince’s imaginative and prescient is vivid and pacy, helped by an interval-free 110-minute working time.

There are pretty particulars in it. The forged and band introduce themselves to us at curtain up. There’s a deft illustration of the filial closeness between Juliet and her cousin Tybalt, which makes his killing by Romeo the extra wrenching. The greenhouse tended by Sargon Yelda’s Friar Laurence turns into a tomb, a neat metaphor by designer Jacob Hughes for the notion of lives minimize quick.

Alfred Enoch as Romeo at Shakespeare’s Globe

/ Marc Brenner

But there’s additionally a jarring directorial intrusion. At common intervals, characters step ahead to intone statements – that 20 per cent of younger folks expertise melancholy earlier than maturity, that patriarchy is unhealthy, that emotional neglect is a killer – which then sit emblazoned on a video display screen till the subsequent one comes alongside. Typically these relate to the play, typically to social mores, typically to authorities coverage. All of them cease the in any other case propulsive motion stone lifeless, each time.

There’s a wider lack of focus, too. Sirine Saba is a effective, exasperated Nurse, Adam Gillen a dynamic however vague Mercutio. The Capulet get together begins as a riotous body for Romeo and Juliet’s assembly, however Ince spins it out with pointless songs, together with a rendering of Lionel Richie’s Hi there. And my God, do the costumes on the Globe all the time need to be so… uncool? The emotional depth with which Murrell invests Juliet is a overcome a sequence of smock attire, tartan dungaree shorts and knee socks.

Enoch with Murrell

/ Marc Brenner

Nonetheless, this stays one of the vital efficient readings of this play that I’ve seen in years. Regardless of its occasional clumsiness, Ince’s imaginative and prescient is extra nuanced than many makes an attempt to provide a ‘related’ spin to the Capulet-Montague feud. Extra crucially, the distinction between Romeo’s frivolity and Juliet’s seriousness is clearly expressed, and Enoch and Murrell communicate the strains with precision and fervour.

Too typically, Romeo and Juliet seems like a ritual, or a proper dance. Right here it seems like a correct love story and a correct tragedy. With its excesses and indulgences curbed it may very well be even higher.


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