Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Upcoming : Wild Rice's Romeo & Juliet

Venue : Drama Centre Theatre
Date : 12 April - 28 April 2012
Ticketing Agent : Sistic

For more details please click here for press release.

"O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?  Deny thy

father and refuse thy name...”
-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any
other name would smell as sweet"
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2

Two of the most famous lines from Romeo & Juliet ... in fact two of the most well-known quotes of Shakespeare (ed : what about 'to be or not to be’). How many times have we heard these lines? They have been used countless times in movies, songs, adverts, books, speeches etc.  Even I used to be able to sprout these and a lot more quotes from R & J, not because I was some intellectual romantic .. but because I studied literature for my ‘O’ levels and this was one of the books we were dissecting. I bet many of you guys also had to do some Shakespeare book for your ‘O’s. Pity those who had to do Macbeth and Hamlet .. super boring and super lots of lines to memorize ...

I enjoyed the two years reading / memorising / quoting / discussing / debating / analysing R & J in school. R & J is IMHO the easiest and shortest of all of Shakespeare’s plays. It is easy to digest without much problems with the unabridged version. However, as I am from the 20th century (albeit the back end), I never had the opportunity to catch R & J being performed live. I thought the movie version was WAY too stylized and I personally do not think that Leonardo de Caprio can act !! So this is the best way to enjoy it being acted out the way Shakespeare may have done. I am pretty confident that if anyone can pull it off .. Mr Ivan Heng can. Looking at his many, many directorial successes, R & J should be well done and a feast for the senses.

I have always felt that R & J is not just about the “star crossed lovers” but included the supporting cast and their little character nuances. The Machiavellian nature of Mercutio ... the loving-doting nature of Nurse .. the hot headedness of Paris .. the stubbornness of the Capulets all come together to bring the play to life and bring out the best of Romeo and Juliet. It is no wonder that in this rendition, the supporting cast are played by well established actors such as Kay Siu, Wendy Kweh, Swee Lin, Brendon Fernandez and Yu-Beng. Romeo will be played by Hansel Tan and Juliet by Julie Wee.  I have to admit I have yet to see Hansel and Julie perform but their theatre CV looks very impressive. 

I have been waiting almost 20 years to finally catch R & J performed live and am very much excited about it. The last theatre I caught was Pangdemonium’s Spring Awakenings which was also about young lovers, forbidden love (in a more physical sense) and the emotional trials and tribulations of growing up. It would be a pretty far stretch to compare Spring Awakenings to Romeo & Juliet but there are its similarities .. and don’t forget, life during Shakespeare’s time was far simpler ... stay tuned for my review and will update any information when I get it ...

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;”

- William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2.7


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