Imagine Italy - 1950's
Black & White - Grainy
Sharp Armani Suits
Atmosphere - electric
(Mary Redman's article from The Brentwood Gazette)
SHARPLY tailored Armani-type suits, designer violence and a stunning silver and gold set are the keynotes of David Cottis's forthcoming production of Romeo and Juliet for Brentwood Shakespeare Company. The set alone has taken £250-worth of gold paint in this 1950s, La Doice Vita-style, new money versus old money version of Shakespeare's timeless love story.
Director Cottis is literary manager of London's Etcetera Theatre in Islington and the set has been created by professional London designer Irene Stewart. Stewards theatrical pedigree includes having been trained by the legendary Motley team of stage designers. For the first time the Brentwood Theatre will be used in traverse form so that the opposing families of nouveau riche Montagues and upper middle class Capulets will be confronting each other in a face-off which can only lead to tragedy. The stage fights have been choreographed by Dan Shadrake from Basildon who worked professionally on the film Gladiator. On keyboards The backing music of 1950s' jazz classics will be played live on stage by local young musicians Alex Rushent on guitar, Mayflower School pupil Adam Morris on keyboards and Alistair Bennett down from Cambridge to play sax.
With a predominantly young cast the production is lively, witty, violent, tragic and scheduled to run at a fast and furious pace lasting no longer than Shakespeare's famous "two hours traffic of the stage." This really should be an interesting new look at Shakespeare which will be relevant and accessible for all types of audience. Romeo and Juliet runs at the Brentwood Theatre from April 3 until April 7 at 8pm nightly.
The Tuesday performance is a special preview with what will be an interesting pre-show talk by director David Cottis. On this night there is a special offer of one free £5.50 ticket with every 10 purchased. Tickets for other performances cost £7.50 with £5.50 concessions on Wednesday and Thursday only, available on 01277 200300 or possibly at the door. The lead role of Juliet is being played by Claire Miller (a familiar voice on Essex FM) while Neil Gray acts as Romeo in the production which will certainly be different from the normal Romeo and Juliet offering.