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Romeo & Juliet

Date

2nd August 2019

Society

Eastbourne Operatic & Dramatic Society

Venue

Italian Gardens, Eastbourne

Type of Production

Play

Director

David Foster

Choreographer

Nikki Fricker

Report

Author: Brenda Gower

 A tale of deadly fighting between gangs and family members which sounds so much like – sadly – regular happenings on our streets in these days, combined with a tragic teenage romance culminating in the death of the two youngsters concerned, just shows that there is nothing new under the sun.  David Foster’s production dealt so well with all the ups and downs of this amazing story, managing to inject some humour into the proceedings as well.

The talented cast gave of their all to make the characters come totally alive.  The Capulet and Montague families gave stately performances as befitted their noble status in life with their lively servants making sure that the feuding between the two factions continued, even though Prince Escalus (played with aplomb by Bryan Ayres) threatened that the next person to break the peace would incur the death penalty.

Juliets’s Nurse is complicit in helping the young lovers to meet and this role was delightfully played by Jane Tingley with warmth, humour and great sadness at the eventual death of her mistress.

More fighting ensues which results in the accidental death of Mercutio (played by Kirsten Grinstead) and that of Tybalt (Nick Carn) at the hand of Romeo who is then banished by the Prince.  Friar Lawrence (Mike Barber) provides a sleeping potion for Juliet and after many more alarms and excursions, Paris, who wished to marry Juliet, is also killed.  Shaun Williams gave an excellent performance as Paris.

So, it certainly doesn’t end happily ever after as due to a message not getting through to Romeo, he dies from taking poison as he believes Juliet to be dead and not sleeping and as she awakens and realises that her lover is dead, she stabs herself, but at least the two warring families are brought together in their grief for the loss of their children.

Such a tale deserves the right setting and this is always the case for EODS productions in Eastbourne’s lovely Italian Gardens, thanks this year to Andy Newell for set design and construction and his team.  Val Dormady and Amy Rayiru were responsible for costumes with the rich colours of the nobility enhancing the scenes.  Also the programme was, as usual, well laid out with a stunning cover and a lot of interesting items to read.

So much work has to be done to get all that is needed down to the Gardens, plus setting up (and getting out!) and congratulations to all involved in this production and to all who provide the delicious cakes and look after the refreshments.          

 A tale of deadly fighting between gangs and family members which sounds so much like – sadly – regular happenings on our streets in these days, combined with a tragic teenage romance culminating in the death of the two youngsters concerned, just shows that there is nothing new under the sun.  David Foster’s production dealt so well with all the ups and downs of this amazing story, managing to inject some humour into the proceedings as well.

The talented cast gave of their all to make the characters come totally alive.  The Capulet and Montague families gave stately performances as befitted their noble status in life with their lively servants making sure that the feuding between the two factions continued, even though Prince Escalus (played with aplomb by Bryan Ayres) threatened that the next person to break the peace would incur the death penalty.

Juliets’s Nurse is complicit in helping the young lovers to meet and this role was delightfully played by Jane Tingley with warmth, humour and great sadness at the eventual death of her mistress.

More fighting ensues which results in the accidental death of Mercutio (played by Kirsten Grinstead) and that of Tybalt (Nick Carn) at the hand of Romeo who is then banished by the Prince.  Friar Lawrence (Mike Barber) provides a sleeping potion for Juliet and after many more alarms and excursions, Paris, who wished to marry Juliet, is also killed.  Shaun Williams gave an excellent performance as Paris.

So, it certainly doesn’t end happily ever after as due to a message not getting through to Romeo, he dies from taking poison as he believes Juliet to be dead and not sleeping and as she awakens and realises that her lover is dead, she stabs herself, but at least the two warring families are brought together in their grief for the loss of their children.

Such a tale deserves the right setting and this is always the case for EODS productions in Eastbourne’s lovely Italian Gardens, thanks this year to Andy Newell for set design and construction and his team.  Val Dormady and Amy Rayiru were responsible for costumes with the rich colours of the nobility enhancing the scenes.  Also the programme was, as usual, well laid out with a stunning cover and a lot of interesting items to read.

So much work has to be done to get all that is needed down to the Gardens, plus setting up (and getting out!) and congratulations to all involved in this production and to all who provide the delicious cakes and look after the refreshments.