Romeo and Juliet

Chapterhouse Theatre Company at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

> Chapterhouse Theatre Company at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

Here's a theatre company I really admire: they tour four Shakespeares simultaneously, with no Arts Council Funding. Hats off!

And not just to the organisation, but the show, too. This was Shakespeare with plenty of slapstick, big fights and warm-looking Elizabethanesque padded costumes. Romeo was handsome, Juliet was gorgeous, the bits we all knew were memorably played, the bits we didn't weren't too long.

Of the performers who kept me goggling, Mercutio (Sean Clarke) was top of the list: a powerful performer who tipped the character backwards and forwards between comedy and madness, dancing on a knife's edge in speeches such as Queen Mab and of course, the famous fight with Tybalt.

Next came Juliet (Heather Mason): a gentle presence, who gave us moments of real tenderness in the balcony scene and all the lithe and winsome charm of youth as she weedled the nurse.

Then there was bully boy Tybalt (Dafydd John-White) a hard man, who showed no mercy - a real baddy.

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And the same old questions reared their ugly heads: what is mercy, what is justice? who must pay the price of hatred? In a gentle summer evening, the answers fell as harsh as ever.

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