Shakespeare in the Garden: Romantic Romeo

Aug 13 2015 | By More

✭✭✭✩✩   Family Fun

Young critics scheme review
The Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87): Fri 7 – Mon 31 Aug 2015

A cheesy, child-friendly adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Captivate Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Garden: Romantic Romeo is a fast-paced musical will appeal to all the family.

Abridged with lots of original songs by musical director Tommie Travers, this production retells Romeo and Juliet’s famous love story in a simplified way. The production lightens this tragedy by poking fun at some of the play’s more serious scenes.

Romantic RomeoScripted by director Sarah Lyall the production strays far from the original piece but is peppered with original lines. Tom Mullins is a sarcastic Mercutio, present during the balcony scene questioning all of Romeo’s supposedly romantic lines.

James Leggat overacts entertainingly to create a loveable, airheaded Romeo. This display of melodrama is well-balanced by Stacey Mitchell’s performance as Juliet especially her wonderful voice. Their relationship in this piece is less romantic and feels more like a cute playground affair.

In this small, well-rehearsed cast there is great conviction for their joker roles but this does not distract from their singing and the wonderful choral sound they create – Meg Laird-Drummond’s voice as Lady Capulet is outstanding. The cast engages well with the audience; Ellen McBride as Rosaline and Hag acts well and catches the eye in all of her minor roles.


The most hilarious and impressive performance of this production comes from Ross Hunter as Juliet’s Nursey. Hunter provides an outstanding female voice – both speaking and singing – and seems extremely comfortable and confident in the dress. As Nursey he becomes the source of much of the humour and the Nurse’s song is incredibly catchy. Some of the other songs, though catchy, are slightly too fast-paced, meaning that many of the lyrics are missed through poor enunciation.

The production is childish but the way that it pokes fun at Shakespeare and the constant foreshadowing of Romeo and Juliet’s deaths will appeal to an older audience – even if the song justifying their deaths is patronising. A great, gentle introduction of Shakespeare for any child over the age of four.

Running time: 1 hour
The Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87), St Andrew Square, EH2 1AF
Fri 7 – Mon 31 Aug 2015
Performances: 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30, 31 August
The three Shakespeare in the Gardens shows play two a day, daily (not Mons 10, 17 & 24) at 10.30am and 11.45am.
Book tickets on the EdFringe website:
Or the ARfringe website:
Company website:


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