There’s an aspect to this version which will be a big plus for some people but perhaps not so much for others – it’s described as being contemporary.
Where do you stand on Shakespeare being given a modern look? Does it sound interesting or fill you with horror?
I’ve always enjoyed seeing Shakespeare’s plays given a new set of clothes, both literally and metaphorically. I have no problem with where you want to set the play geographically, when in time, what costumes the actors wear, what accents they use. I’m even easy-going about the music, which is just as well with this production. It features modern music with the cast singing and playing songs from the likes of Mumford and Sons, the Vaccines, The Civil Wars and Hozier. It’s an indie-rock Romeo and Juliet.
Enough to send traditionalists into a fit of the vapours I’m sure, but fine by me and in fact only adding another element for me to enjoy. I mean, it’s got to be done well of course, it’s got to work – but so does everything, that’s true of any piece of theatre, any piece or art for that matter.
I don’t like to see Shakespeare’s work preserved in amber like the ghost of a dead dragonfly, I like to see it living and breathing, attracting new people to it today, not just as a piece of history but relevant and alive.
I’m not quite ‘anything goes’. One proviso – don’t mess with the words. I like the script to stay as Shakespeare wrote it. Of course, a bit of judicious trimming here and there doesn’t hurt if we means we get out before the pubs shut – but I can’t abide attempts to rewrite Shakespeare’s words for a modern audience.
Shakespeare’s the maestro isn’t he? A glorious poet echoing though the ages, attempted rewrites are doomed to failure.
Otherwise though, let’s have fun with it – and it sounds like Watermill Theatre are planning to.
You can find out more about their production of Romeo and Juliet here, they are doing Twelfth Night with a jazz theme the same week – fantastic.
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