Shakespearean plays have begun their streak in Singapore with a successful run of A Winter’s Tale by SRT-The Bridge Project. Yet another import by TNT-ADGE, Romeo and Juliet will be performed in Raffles Hotel from 29 April to 2 May.
The tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet is unforgettable and many filmmakers, choreographers and songwriters have produced modern twists to the classic love story.
After all, shedding new light on a classic is a feat many theatrical directors attempt. Filmmaker Ryan Denmark has announced that that his take on Romeo and Juliet is currently in production. Entitled “Romeo & Juliet vs The Living dead”, it tells of Juliet the noble-born and Romeo, her zombie lover. How’s that for a modern take?
If you’re shuddering at the thought of zombies being linked with the Shakespearean play, you should stick to the original. Paul Stebbings’ version intends to strip away external influences to let the original tale shine.
Stebbings shares his vision for the play. “What a shame to take the play into West Side Story jeans and T shirts! Our production is set in Baroque Italy, an Italy of the imagination – full of Carnival masks, commedia dell’arte, Tuscan pastel walls offset gorgeous Baroque costumes, rapiers flash, monks chanting under Cyprus trees, Dan Juan, Casanova, Vivaldi and a strong espresso are never far away…”
Since the play was constructed like a sonnet, Stebbings explains, “We take poetry into the style of performance and the visual imagery – the real conflict in the play is between powerful poetic images – Love and Death.”
His usage of imagery sets his interpretation apart from other reproductions of Romeo and Juliet that you may have seen. For example, you’ll see Cupid being called upon and Death haunting the couple, not just figuratively speaking, but as a character onstage. “Come Death, Juliet wills it so!” cries Romeo early in their passionate affair.
Stebbings adds, “The play is also a comedy – it is full of jokes that most productions ignore, full of comic servants that most productions edit out. We keep them, we revel in the comic life force that Shakespeare uses as a contrast to the spiritual love of the protagonists.”
As for the music, look forward to listening to real Baroque and Renaissance music.
** Did you know?
Shakespeare actually has musicians speak in the play – again they are usually cut – not in this play!
Romeo & Juliet by TNT-ADGE
29 April – 2 May
Raffles Hotel, Jubilee Hall
Tickets are available from SISTIC at $69.