Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Merely Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet, as this is not the first production I have seen from this company. My expectations were high and they did not disappoint. The stripped back, minimalist set allowed you to truly focus on the brilliant acting. As there were only five actors it created a fast paced rhythm to the play that at times was hard to keep up to but when you could keep up it was a really effective telling of Shakespeare’s tragedy.
Tamara Astor’s nurse had the whole theatre laughing, creating a bit of comic relief and showing off her incredible stage presence. The audience felt involved as actors often addressed us and occasionally members were asked questions or even climbed over. As I’m familiar with the play I appreciated such things as Simon Grujich playing both Juliet and Tybalt, due to their opposing feelings towards Romeo. He managed to play both Juliet’s naivety and Tybalt’s anger very well, as he often ran off stage as one and returned as another almost immediately. All the actors played their parts incredibly well, with obvious changes to the play to account for the lack of actors, such as the removal of Paris’s death, that did not hinder the performance. All in all, I would recommend this company to anyone wanting a taste of Shakespeare and I am truly looking forward to seeing what they do with Twelfth Night.
Written by Laura Watson.