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Romeo and Juliet at the Globe Theatre

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by Caroline Haack (subscribe)
Fine art student and freelance writer from Paris, living in London. carolinehaack.wixsite.com/home
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The great classic play with contemporary direction


Going to the Globe Theatre, you already know it is going to be spectacular. But for this year's production of Romeo and Juliet, prepare yourself for something even more. A bit of a Baz Luhrmann mixed with an emo Tim Burton vibe, one that recalls the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. And don't go if you are afraid of clowns as every actor is wearing a white makeup mask. Flashing strobe lights, techno music during the fight scenes, YMCA dance and confetti are added to the party.

The way the play is directed is possibly a biit shocking, emphasizing the sexual innuendos and violence of the play. Surprising at first, I realized that is probably the way the play was interpreted at the time and that it is therefore only adapted to our time. The second scene of insults and fighting must have been very violent at the time. It is also a good way to introduce Shakespeare to teenagers, with codes they understand.



The best thing with the Globe Theatre is that every actor is amazing: you cannot think of one that was weak. Everyone just shines in their roles. Those playing Romeo and Juliet were, of course, amazing, playing it more like a childish love. Juliet seeming just excited and glad to have a lover and Romeo seems in love with being in love. Don't forget that Juliet is supposed to be 14, do you remember being really in love at that age?

I didn't look at reviews before seeing it but they seem quite harsh, offended at the way the play has been changed. I don't think it is a bad thing to take some freedoms sometimes, especially in an institution like The Globe. Mercutio is, for example, played by a woman, which is not a problem as he is never seen as a masculine figure in the play, just a loyal friend. Also, don't forget that in Shakespearean times, female characters were played by dressed-up men.



If you still haven't booked tickets, do take some in the standing area. They are cheaper (only £5) and I swear that the actors are close. I had Romeo literally next to me during the whole balcony scene. You also live the full Shakespeare experience, like the theatre was hundreds of years ago
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Where: 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT
Cost: Yard (standing) £5 | Gallery (seated) £20 – £45. Under 18s – £3 off all seats
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