Romeo and Juliet by Curious Pheasant, 4 Stars

Romeo and Juliet by Curious Pheasant
Assembly Rooms – Bijou
Theatre

“Curious Pheasant are staging their all male gay reimagining of the classic love story Romeo and Juliet at Assembly Bijou. Using physical theatre the two opposing rugby teams ground the piece in the 21st century making it wholly relatable for a modern day audience. Tackling the taboo and highly relevant subjects of toxic masculinity and homophobia in sport through Shakespeare’s original language; this production highlights the struggles a young man in this world faces when coming to terms with his sexuality.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars

This powerful rendition of the classic Romeo and Juliet has a modern take. The 2 x battling houses are Rugby Teams and the Gladiatorial opening number has them pitting their muscles and strength against each other.

Romeo and Juliet are on opposing teams and scorned for their love of the enemy.

Misunderstandings and fights cause fatalities but can you forgive your loved one if they’ve killed your cousin?

With a touch of West Side Story about it, this performance sits well in the Bijou Theatre as part of the Assembly Performance Spaces on George Street. But a spiegeltent, as romantic as it is, will never silence the outside street chatter or increment weather. Some productions call out for a blackout but a spiegel tent isn’t great at this. When dead people get up and walk off stage and you can’t create a blackout it’s a difficult challenge.

There are some benefits in what is typically a cabaret venue. There is a long walk to getting off-stage allowing for some extended acting en-route. And there are many exits and walkways to allow for occasional grand entrances. Tfhe Director rotates the action and keeps it dynamic to cater for the 360deg audience.

With a very talented cast who are consistently sincere and earnest, this production packs a punch!