Available free on You Tube this 2019 production directed by Michael Oakley canters briskly through the play in 90 minutes and is aimed at introducing young audiences to Shakespeare. It does it very well, the small cast double roles and the text has been tactfully filleted. Maybe it does not quite hit the tragic heights – as always nobody seems to know how to dispose of that phial of poison Juliet drinks so that it is not found when her body is discovered and the demands of the production require she go to her bed in a her wedding dress, a white net confection fit for the fairy on top of the Christmas tree. It clashes with the more or less Carnaby Street wear everyone dons during the rest of the play. But Charlotte Beaumont’s spirited and well spoken Juliet rises above it. Nathan Welsh is her Romeo, not so much dashing as running around a lot, and there is a nicely fussy Nurse from Debbie Chazen. It is not the greatest production of the play ever, and if you are going to do it this way Baz Luhrman did it rather better on screen in 1996 but this has been well filmed, the theatre looks handsome, there is loads of atmosphere, and if this were the first Romeo and Juliet I had seen then it would certainly not be the last. It does what it sets out to do – introduces the audience to the play and leaves one wanting more.
Juliet: Charlotte Beaumont.
Romeo: Nathan Welsh.
Paris: Chris Chung.
Mercutio: Ned Derrington.
Lady Capulet: Hermione Gulliford.
: Stuart Bowman.
Tybalt: Ayoola Smart.
Benvolio: Shalisha James-Davis.
Friar Laurence/Capulet: Jeff Alexander.
Photographs – Faye Thomas &