Life Long Loves Changing Romeo and Juliet’s Stars by Morgan McPherson
Young love. Burning, all-consuming, can’t-imagine-life-without-the-other passion that lights up the soul. There’s no more classic example of this type of love than Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. We all know the tale.
But what if that kind of love endured over time?
Ben Power's A Tender Thing (directed by Peter Hinton), now playing at the Belfry Theatre, paints a stirring picture as to what this might look like. Romeo (Peter Anderson) and Juliet (Clare Coulter) did not commit suicide in their early teenage years, as originally written, but they have lived their lives together and are every bit in love now as they were then. However, not everything in life can stay golden forever, and the play raises this question: what would you do for the love of your life? How far would you go?
I wasn’t aware going in that the language was going to be entirely Shakespearean (but then, of course it would be!), and so when I heard the first words I feared I wasn’t going to be able to follow them well. I settled into the speech easily, which was a pleasant surprise, and this was aided by the stellar acting by Anderson and Coulter. The difference between words on a page and words on the stage was tremendous, and the feeling and emotion behind the words came through loud and clear. The play was at turns exciting, tender, somber, and emotionally wrenching. It’s rare for me to be moved to tears during a stage performance, but I was far from the only one with tears pricking my eyes; I heard sniffles from multiple audience members around me. This play made me think, and wonder if I would ever be lucky enough to have a love in my life like the one portrayed onstage.