Daniel Brière, Sarah Topham (photo credit: Don Dixon)
I Ne’er Saw True Beauty Till This Night
Stratford’s new Romeo and Juliet is a refreshing approach to a well-worn classic
by Dave Ross (@dmjross) and Stuart Munro (@StuartMunroTO)
SM: I couldn’t agree more. In all the Shakespeare I’ve seen at the festival in the last few years, I don’t think I’ve ever understood a play so well as this one (which I’m only partially familiar with). The full depth of Carroll’s original practices concept is still a bit confusing to me, but the end result seems to be a focus on and clarity of text that surpasses anything I’ve experienced before. The simplicity of the staging and the attention to the text was incredibly refreshing – it allowed the natural arc of the play to really come forward. Someone unfamiliar with Romeo and Juliet would be forgiven for thinking the first act was a comedy, but (spoilers!) as soon as the young couple meets – and especially after the murders of Mercutio and Tybalt – there is this inexorable push towards the tragedy of the play, and the second half kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.