16TH JULY – 1ST SEPTEMBER 2001
MAGDALEN COLLEGE SCHOOL GROUNDS
A young and energetic cast captured the youthful exuberance of adolescents and star-crossed lovers. A thoroughly up to date production with surroundings that perfectly complimented with nature of the play. The interval arrival of a police helicopter with its searchlights above the park even gave a touch of Bazz Luhrmann.
Richard Beecham, who has since 2001 worked for Salisbury Playhouse, Old Vic and RSC, directed this, Creation’s second production of Romeo and Juliet, on an island in the River Cherwell. The performance was in collaboration with the Oxford Stage Company.
“In their sixth year in the garden of Magdalen College School, the Creation Theatre Company are offering an outstandingly good production of Romeo and Juliet, writes Paula Clifford. The cast of blue-denimed young professionals explore every opportunity for extravagant swordplay and humorous exchange, before the tragic darkness takes over, and it all makes for a most enjoyable, if very chilly, evening’s entertainment.”
“Beecham’s neatly cut version (his young cast numbers just eight) tells the story with commendable clarity and a pleasing raciness. Few productions will capture quite so well the sheer giddiness of first love.”
“Lisa Ellis is a particularly memorable Juliet. Slightly built, she is blessed with the appearance of a young teenager, as she playfully wins her Romeo, yet she rages and sobs with startling intensity when the fates turn against her. Even her (to me) irritating habit of lingering on final consonants so as to create almost an extra syllable (a mannerism developed to perfection by the younger members of the cast of EastEnders) serves only to emphasise her youthfulness. And her speech in the balcony scene is delivered on a particularly convincing note of petulance.
The trio of Romeo (Danny Nutt), Benvolio (Daniel Abelson, making a distinguished debut on the professional stage) and Mercutio (Rik Young) are appealing in their laddishness. In his passion for Juliet, Romeo continues to come over as somewhat coltish, sometimes appearing more a bemused victim than a tragic hero.
Viss Elliot is particularly well cast as the nurse. She is alert to all the comic potential of her role, and is delightful when, with an almost Hispanic toss of the head, she gives the unfortunate Romeo what can only be described as a good earful. “
The Daily Telegraph
Director – Richard Beecham
Designer – Soutra Gilmour
Choreographer – Aiden Treays
Design Assistant – Naomi Dawson
Fight Director – Mike Bower
Daniel Abelson – Montague/Balthasar
Paul Chesterton – Paris/Montague
Lisa Ellis – Juliet
Viss Elliot – Nurse/Princess
Dannu Nutt – Romeo
Emma Pallent – Lady Capulet
Anthony Washington – Friar Lawrence/Tybalt
Nic Young – Mercutio