Romeo & Juliet had a preview night on May 6th and officially opened May 8th. The cast of 18 puts on a wonderful show, drawing us into the amazing tale. The first half if full of lightness and fun, and the second half would give any current slasher film a run for its money. Lord Capulet, of course, is the highlight in our eyes. He is perfectly cast, walking proudly with a cane as a prop. His hand clap to call forth the musicians for the party is regal. His anger at Juliet’s defiance is startling. The audience draws back as he calls her a “green sickness carrion” and “you baggage” and “ungrateful wench.” The audience gasps as he runs toward Juliet with his cane to hit her as she cowers on the floor. As the production has progressed, so has Rick. He continues to work on his role. A few years ago our nephew Joe Howarth told us that every night in his play was different. At the time Rick said he didn’t understand, but now he comes home each night with a description of the slight variation that came through an injured actor or a dropped line or an intentional change in the action.
The day after opening night was media night, where several English language papers were to attend. Alas, there was a power outage in the block around the theatre and for only the second time in several years they had to cancel the performance. That impaired the publicity plan, but as with everything in China (and life), one needs to be nimble and flexible!
The theatre is an intimate stage in the round, with about 150 seats. Judy has now gone to 5 shows, Anna to 3, and Elizabeth to 2. Each of the three sections of the theatre offers a different view not just literally but also in the nuance of the action and the facial expression of the actors. It once again shows the subtly of both Shakespeare’s unbelievable gift and the creativity of this production. The show closes May 31st. We’ll miss it.
Continue on My Lord!