Unpopular opinion: Romeo and Juliet is one of my least favourite of Shakespeare’s plays and yet every time a new version appears I wonder if I might like this version. That being said, Pastiche Theatre Collective’s adaption of the classic is executed well enough that even a cynic like me enjoyed it. To adapt or not to adapt is the key question the performers ask of their audience. If we all know the story what makes it interesting? And this is an adaption so it is quite interesting to watch the performers unpack adaptions during an adaption.
The show opens in what could be mistaken as a student-esk faithful rendition of Romeo and Juliet, if it weren’t for the performer’s immediate enthusiasm and commitment to their roles. The seriousness of Tybalt’s death wouldn’t mean as much without the sillyness of Romeo and Juliet’s first meeting (which honestly is worth the price of the ticket alone). They also play with casting in some fun ways with the dual casting of Tybalt and Juliet a suburb decision and the Nurse being an absolute highlight.
The performers do an almost seamless job of weaving iambic pentameter with modern language, often hitting the mark on those jokes. The language is often the biggest barrier in Shakespeare with the language being too unfamiliar to modern ears that, unless careful, a performers monologue may go straight over the audience’s head. To the performer’s credit, they generally do well at this and only on a few occasions did they lose the audience to the language and they always managed to pull them back just as quickly.
Pistache Theatre Collective may be young but they are talented and have created a thoughtful intelligent show that’s definitely worth a look.
The reviewer attended the Saturday 12th May performance.
Dates: 12, 13, 20 May & 5:00pm; 18 May @ 6:30pm; 19 May @ 4.45pm