15th March 2017  –  Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ was performed to our Y9 students by the Young Shakespeare Company yesterday.  Here are a few of the reports from the pupils …

Review by Aleksandra Szarejko and Alana Minns (9Y)

Their take on the play was interesting and unique, as it was set in a modern comprehensive school. As a result, it was relatable to us. They used multi-roles which meant that the actors and actresses played more than one character. Despite this challenge, the play was still really interesting and clear, and this proved that the actors and actresses were experienced in what they’re doing. Even though they did not have a lot of props, the play was still effective and showed us you don’t need fancy equipment to make a play interesting as it all relies on the acting!

The performance was useful for the students who would like to take GCSE Drama as it showed that by using appropriate techniques you won’t need a lot of props. As a year-group, we enjoyed the play a lot and when it came to the Q&A session at the end lots of students had plenty of questions to ask. From this performance, we’ve definitely learned a lot of new things about not only the play, but also theatre performances. We learnt how there can be many interpretation of the same story line. Some play may be based in the Elizabethan Era whereas others may have been modern. Also some students didn’t study Romeo and Juliet, but this play definitely gave them a clear understanding. We are very grateful for their performance and hope to see more performances by them in the future.

Review by Olivia Bubieniec and Scarlett Brown (9Y)

This production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by the young Shakespeare company was interesting because they interpreted the play in a very different way, for example the character of Tybalt and also where the play was set.

We liked how Tybalt’s character was shown in a different way because he was victimized by the Montagues including Romeo and, as a result of this, was hostile in his behaviour toward them. Another interesting character was Benvolio who was shown as a younger cousin to Romeo who wanted to impress the older students. We also thought that the actors who switched between roles were very talented because of the way in which able they were to do this.

Overall, we enjoyed the play and would recommend it to current Year 8 and anyone who likes Shakespeare. Even though they didn’t have many props, they managed to make it interesting and easy for the audience to understand. We look forward to seeing them perform again, if possible. Thank you to the English department and the young Shakespeare Company for the inspiring performance we saw.

Review by Annie O’Byrne and Dani Monastero (9Y)

We liked how the actors were interactive with the audience, as some girls actually had the chance to participate in the play, which added humour and interest to it. The play that the company performed differed from the text and cinematic version we have studied in many ways, such as the setting of the play, the personalities of the actors (Benvolio acted more immaturely in the play than he did in the film), and the fact that there was only five actors in the play and they played more than one role, which was also an intriguing approach. Overall, the performance was exceptional and we particularly enjoyed how the fighting scenes were choreographed and presented. We appreciate the time they spent rehearsing and planning this play and hope other years at our school get to experience this performance!

Review by Leya Prados and Cécile Guegan (9Y)

The play was realistic and interesting. There wasn’t a backdrop and there were few props, emphasising the talent of the actors, and this also meant we did not focus on the props but their acting skills. We thought they made good use of costumes, which helped to express the character and make it seem more realistic and modern. For example, the Nurse’s costume was chosen well as it emphasised her humble and caring character. They used the Shakespearean text, but they impressed us because they acted like modern-day sixteen/seventeen teenagers. They also showed different sides to some of the characters that maybe the text or cinematic adaptation hadn’t shown. In conclusion, we enjoyed the Young Shakespeare company’s interpretation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ because it was simple, relatable and engaging.