Review by Sophia Gilet
The Verona Mob is a show aimed at giving a look into the minds and lives of the cast of Shakespeare's greatest romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet.
The story is told through interconnected monologues and point of views from characters as the play's events unfold. A working knowledge of Romeo and Juliet is definitely a plus but not a requirement.
You get to see behind the decision that are made in passion and youth by Romeo and Juliet and all the consequences and fall out along the way. Where Shakespeare's play focuses on the 2 young lovers, this shows the journey all the cast take from the proud and noble lord Capulet, to the arrogant and young Paris, the nurse and mother and even Balthazar.
Walking into the space the actors are already set, standing and sitting on white blocks with the dead lovers lying side by side in the centre stage. The cast are all in blacks except for a head scarf that denotes which side they are on – one colour for Montagues, another for Capulets and purple for the prince's cousin.
The characters are always in relationship with the story and what is happening and it is heart breaking to hear Lady Capulet's and the nurse's grief as they lose Juliet, To be left with Benvolio as he sees everyone around him die or worse.
This play brings to the forefront the lives and thoughts of the people of Verona, sometimes even from beyond the grave.
No character is too small or insignificant in this play. The audience gets to go along and see their individual journeys as they come to terms with the tragedy and the part they played in the lover's deaths.
As you find out no one is blameless.
The show starts with a voice over suggesting it's suitability for unpacking and understanding Romeo and Juliet for school aged children, but this look into the the loss, grief and passion of the Verona mob is a tale of universal woe, for any age.
There is valuable learning in this and is something that would be fascinating to see for all of Shakespeare's plays.
The Director Ross McGregor explores the characters view of the world and has created a script along with the actors that is honest, heartfelt, funny and devastating. While the set is stark there is always so much going on with the actors and the stillness in each of them creates a tableau that you can't take your eyes off of.
As more characters die it seems to be that the characters who die at least don't have to carry the grief of those living. Thought provoking and captivating, there is never a dull moment as the attention switches from one side of the room to the other, going from Montague to Capulet and back again.
This show is for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of Romeo and Juliet, Who want to see the other side and what happened after Shakespeare's play ended. The characters are big, funny and desperate, they are multifaceted and bring to life Shakespeare's characters with realness and believability.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.