Romeo and Juliet

Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft

> Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft

The launch of a new amateur theatre ensemble of students and older people is an exciting event.

The intriguingly entitled company is Shakespearean Lunges and their choice of one of the most well-known tragedies from the Bard's canon for their debut is a challenging one.

There is always a difficulty in reciting lines that have become part of the fabric of our English language, but director Sam Grayston has found a number of fresh angles.

Modern settings and touches like slow dancing at the Capulets' ball, small but well formed comic moments from characters and Tybalt's blood spat over Romeo's face all work to lift the text.

Love's Young Dream is Romeo (Rhys King) whose measured victimhood is contrasted with Juliet's (Jennifer Parsons) energy, that catches the likeness of a young teenager before horror engulfs her.

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Opening nerves give way to a confident interpretation. Sue Campbell-Bannerman as the Nurse is spot-on; Chris Whiting as the short-lived Mercutio is excellent and Phil Everest's Paris is wonderfully oily.

As they work and perform together more, the star-crossed lovers, leading stage stars in the making, can only grow in stature. We will be seeing a lot more of this promising company.

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