Romeo & Juliet: Play (in the) Ground May 2017 Posted: 23/05/17
Romeo & Juliet: Play (in the) Ground
On Friday 12 May, the English department staged its annual performance outside. It was an exclusive performance for Year 10, by Year 10, with a cast of nineteen performing a 45-minute condensed version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Key scenes ranged from ‘Do you bite your thumb Sir?’ and ‘A plague o’ both your houses’ to the fatal, final moments in the tomb. The set was the playground and all the natural props it has to offer: the flowers, the fencing and the gazebo to boot. It was directed by Ms Forrester and Ms Prentice to enhance the Year 10 English GCSE Shakespeare module.
For several months, the dedicated cast have rehearsed outside whatever the weather: in wailing winds or drizzling rain. Rehearsals contained a variety of activities, such as choreographing ballroom dancing, iambic pentameter line learning and sword combat with Steve Medlin from WAC Arts Centre. In addition to the unique natural setting, the show also featured three pairs of star-crossed lovers instead of one. Ivan and Leah saw love at first sight at the masquerade ball, Sohrab and Grace doffed their names in the balcony scene, and Sylvie and Adam succumbed to their fate in the end.
Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side on the day of the performance, with a forecast of light showers. Despite the inclement weather, that saw periods of both audience and actors subjected to driving rain, the show was a hit.
This fantastic hour-long rendition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was held in the school playground. Despite on and off rain, the show went on. Consisting of about seven main acts, three different pairs of actors took on the roles of Romeo and Juliet. This gave each part of the play a different atmosphere and by the end, the intensity of the famous young lovers was incredibly apparent.
The al fresco nature of the play had pros and cons: clouds and rain showers created perfect pathetic fallacy during the fight scenes, but umbrellas restricted views from further back. The playground setting also effectively reflected themes of immaturity in the play and just how futile the two families’ feud is.
Overall the acting was amazing! Characters such as Mercutio (Anya Fearon) and Tybalt (Lloyd Horby) stood out due to their extraordinary talent. This production has left the famous tale of two star-crossed lovers vivid in my mind, as I’m sure it has for many others!
Jojo Ward Year 10 Piccadilly/VGi
More images of this great performance can be found on our galleries section of the website.