It’s a credit to theatre companies and audiences alike that Oxford persists in offering a range of outdoor Shakespearean drama during this most unwelcoming of British summers. Grey skies have overseen most of the season and the opening night of Tomahawk’s Romeo and Juliet was no exception. The courtyard of the Oxford Castle isn’t, frankly, the most inviting of places to spend an evening at the moment, which only made it all the more impressive that this production was so enjoyable.
This is a good group of actors. Talented and enthusiastic, there’s a consistency that runs through the cast and, with no glaring weaknesses, you’re able to savour the standout performances all the more. Edward Blagrove is a wonderfully boisterous and likeable Mercutio. The chilly courtyard seemed a smaller and warmer place as he bounded across the stage, filling the evening air with a vivid personality and irrepressible liveliness. Louise Taney also impressed as the Nurse. She was spot-on in presenting the tireless manner, loquacious tongue and well-meaning nature of Juliet’s aid. As for our two star crossed lovers, Chloe Orrock and Samuel Plumb delivered suitably self-absorbed performances that seemed fitting for so youthful a pair, anguishing over trials of the heart. It should be stressed, however, that the acting is strong throughout and provided a substantial audience with a number of laughs amidst long periods of rapt attention.
Director Alex Nicholls should be commended for his use of music as well as his excellent production. A trio of guitarists regularly creep in and out of the action offering an occasional soundtrack that never feels intrusive or out of place. This is a refreshing and welcome touch.
That tonight was the first in a run till the 14th of July can only bode well for this group. They really seemed to enjoy an assured, confident performance and the two hours passed quickly for the appreciative onlookers. Those of you out there particularly averse to the possibility of receiving a drenching can also rest easy: if the heavens open, the action is simply moved inside. Keep that in mind when pondering over your next evening out. Whatever the weather decides to do, there’s a worthwhile evening of Shakespearean tragedy waiting for you at the Castle.
Rory McCluckie (DI Reviewer), 03/07/12
Ads by Daily Info:
Browse ads by tag:
Review of the Day