Romeo and Juliet and P.A.L.S both have a Birmingham theme
It can be safely assumed that had Shakespeare been born a few centuries later he wouldn’t have set Romeo and Juliet in renaissance Verona with its murderous family rivalries but would have looked to the Second City derby for a heightened sense of conflict.
Chiswick based playwright and director Nick Hennegan has rectified this accident of history by producing an adaptation of the play in which it is the division between Aston Villa and Birmingham City which provides the dividing line between the star-crossed lovers families for the play rather than Montagues and Capulets.
‘Two households, both alike in dignity’ is maybe less apt in this version with European Cup winning, Price William supported Villa currently in the Premiership with the Blues struggling in the championship and only able to boast celebrity fans such as Jasper Carrot and some fictional gangsters from the twenties.
Now after two weeks at the Edinburgh Festival the hit show along with Maverick Theatre’s other production ‘P.A.L.s.’ is transferring to the Tabard Theatre. P.A.L.S. charts the fortune of four friends, Pete, Andy, Linda and Sue (the PALS of the title) growing up in Birmingham from the 1950's to the 2000's.
Romeo and Juliet and P.A.L.S. are to be performed in Rep, one each day, from 3 September to 28 September.
Maverick Theatre is now based in Chiswick and Tabard Theatre director Fred Perry said, "We've been wanting to find an opportunity to work with Nick and Maverick for a long time and after the fantastic response from audiences in Edinburgh we thought now was the right time."
Nick Hennegan said, "It's great news. I love Chiswick, The Tabard is a fantastic space and this young and talented cast are sure to prove popular with London audiences. And you can see them twice!"
Here is a selection of quotes from the critics:
PALS- “Based on a on a true story from director / writer Nick Hennegan’s own past,
he has constructed a believable and enchanting world… raw, painful,
mesmerising. Audiences live for these moments….This is a winning team of
British Theatre Guide
“You’ll laugh your head off and cry your eyes out.”
If you only see one play this year… this is it!
Romeo and Juliet- "This is a masterclass on how to do Shakespeare...breathtakingly inspiring...
Adapter and director Hennegan’s razor sharp direction...the cast is flawless
The wordless love scene is one of the most powerful I’ve ever seen.”
British Theatre Guide
“Witty and tragic, but also exciting and funny… the banter is as up to date as
the latest i-Phone, thanks to amusing colloquial asides woven into the
dialogue by Hennegan… invigorating physical theatre battles between the two
teams at the start. “
August 23, 2019
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August 29, 2019