The Icarus Theatre Collective, known for tackling controversial subjects such as rape, mutilation and incest, returned to the most traditional of theatre scripts for their tour of Romeo and Juliet stopping at Horsham for two nights only this week.
Shakespeare’s tragedy telling the tale of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet caught between the warring Capulet and Montague families was performed in the Capitol.
Kaiden Dubois (Romeo) and Nicole Anderson (Juliet) led the small cast in their adaptation set in Elizabethan times and co-produced with the Kings Theatres, Southsea.
The simple props, costumes and scenery put the acting in the spotlight.
Dubois’s Shakespeare script tripped off the tongue as if it were his native language and Anderson’s best shone through in the second half when Juliet is faced with the new of her cousin Tybalt being slain by her new husband, who was now banished from fair Verona.
The most colourful characters were Juliet’s Nurse and (Gemma Barrett) and Mercutio (David McLaughlin).
Barrett performed the Nurse as a flamboyant eccentric from the West Country with the broad accent to go with it. As the winner of Chaplins’ Best Actor Award last year, she had won over sceptics of her performance by the end of the show.
McLaughlin, who also took the role of Friar Lawrence, played Romeo’s righthand man Mercutio as the fun loving, but loyal best friend.
The biggest surprise was the decision to cast Tybalt as a female character adding a new dynamic to the script. It gave the fighting scene between Tybalt, Mercutio and Romeo and interesting twist with a gender war you would not have expected to see in an adaptation set in the Shakespeare’s era when men often took the role of women.
If you missed this production and are a fan of The Bard, the Reduce Shakespeare Company is bringing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare on Thursday April 18.
The fast-paced romp through all 37 plays in 97 minutes was London’s longest running comedy clocking up nine years on the West End.
Even those who are not accustomed to the The Bard’s scripts will love it. Tickets are £16 (£14 concessions) from the Capitol Box Office at www.thecapitolhorsham.com or book by phoneby calling 01403 750220.