Directed by Paul Stebbings
Musical director: Paul Kenny
Producer: Grantly Marshall
TNT Theatre has developed an international reputation for presenting dynamic, exciting and direct productions of Shakespeare’s major works. Live music, powerful choreography and a simple performance style allow a modern audience to experience Shakespeare’s great love story as an Elizabethan audience might have done at a London theatre some four hundred years ago. In this production the play is freed from the clichés of West Side Story and the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and is rediscovered as a story not of urban street kids but of “two houses both alike in dignity.” This is a tragedy of clan war, of a town in violent chaos, riven by family feuds, where the deaths of two young lovers bring the warring factions to their senses. Verona is brought to the stage in all its classical glory, Latin passion and baroque decadence.
This is an Italy where honour, pride and family loyalty are valued above morality, peace and love. In a modern world equally riven by violence and intolerance, where peace seems as elusive as true love, this great tragedy is as relevant as ever. This is not a historical but a mythic setting that enables the morality play and the romantic tragedy to reach its true potential.
All too often, Shakespeare suffers from directors and even designers imposing an interpretation on the original that stifles its essence. TNT works carefully to bring out the true richness and depth of Shakespeare. This approach has been much appreciated by a wide audience who is often surprised at how accessible and relevant Shakespeare’s plays become when they are performed in the manner Shakespeare might have intended. The plays were written to be performed with limited scenery which calls upon the imagination of the audience, live music, small casts, energetic physical performances and a sensitivity to poetry. All of these elements are present in a TNT Shakespeare production. Less is more or, to quote HAMLET, “the play is the thing.”
The music for this production comprises both recorded instrumental and live vocal elements. In addition to original composition, John Kenny has arranged and adapted many baroque vocal and instrumental works, which are performed on historical instruments by The Scott Free Ensemble (baroque violin, alto & tenor sackbuts recorders, percussion, harpsichord and organ).
TNT & ADGE’s ROMEO & JULIET tours to thirty countries on three continents in 2014.
“Extraordinary. TNT demonstrates how Shakespeare can be made relevant to a modern audience anywhere in the world.” Japan Times, Tokyo
“Highly effective and charismatic theatre…” Village Voice, New York
“World class theatre…” Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich
“Wonderfully unpredictable and astonishingly inventive, their imagery defies description.” Scotsman, Edinburgh Festival
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