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Stage Dragon Review: Oh Romeo At The Electric Theatre

Published on: 21 Mar, 2019
Updated on: 21 Mar, 2019

by Tricia Marcotti

The Electric Theatre is home to the Guildburys Theatre Company’s production of Oh Romeo by the late Ephraim Kishon.

Mr Kishon, whom many people may not have heard of, survived the German death camps of the Second World War, moved to Israel, and wrote books, plays and movies. He was a satirist as well as a comedy writer.

Lucrezia and Shakespeare discussing her clothes in Oh Romeo at the Electric Theatre. Photo by Kevin Malam.

This comedy is based on Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet but with a twist. What if the lovers did not die?

Set 30 years after Romeo and Juliet attempt to be together in the afterlife, there are a number of characters still surviving from the original play.

With the addition of the disgruntled ghost of William Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet’s teenage daughter, the play is set for any number of twists and turns.

And twists and turns there are!

The set reflects the financial circumstances of Romeo and Juliet. Poorer even than church mice, their abode looks in dire need of a makeover.

Disconcertingly, there are a number of anachronisms on the set (such as an electric kettle, even though admittedly it does not work), but most of the characters are in period costume.

When we enter the auditorium, we are greeted by a troubadour (Tautvydas Kuliesius) playing the Dire Straits hit Romeo and Juliet. He played throughout the play and mimics a cockerel very nicely!

Juliet (Danielle Buckett) feels hard done by. She wants a maid so badly – all her friends have a maid – that she is making Romeo’s life a misery.

Romeo (Jonathan Constant) tries to make life tolerable for Juliet, but hasn’t the money for a maid.

Their daughter, Lucrezia (Tuuli Albekoğlu), is a rebel who dreams of becoming an actress, but mum and dad just want a daughter who does her homework.

Now doesn’t that sound like a normal family?

But most families don’t have The Bard (Ian McShee) popping up all the time. He really doesn’t like the way Romeo and Juliet have rewritten his play! And he will do just about anything to rectify their mistake.

Romeo and Juliet being lectured by Shakespeare in Oh Romeo at the Electric Theatre. Photo by Kevin Malam.

Throughout the play, lines from Shakespeare’s plays roll trippingly on the tongue of the various characters. The audience has to be quick-witted to note which of his plays the line is from, but judging from the laughter they are keeping up with the cast.

Unfortunately, the domestic circumstances of the Montague family lead to a lot of shouting, as though the lines are being spoken by the town crier.

Are we in fair Verona or in Albert Square?

This is a fair performance by the actors, but not as punchy as some of the Guildbury’s previous productions.

Oh Romeo is at the Electric Theatre until Saturday, March 23. Tickets are available online (click here) or call the box office on 01483 501200.

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test One Response to Stage Dragon Review: Oh Romeo At The Electric Theatre

  1. Cyndi Cook Reply

    March 23, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    This play was awful. 1 star at best.

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