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Romeo and Juliet: A Poignant Reimagining
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In the hands of a sleepless world governed by social media, the long-term effects of a global pandemic, and a raging political crisis, the tumult is setting in early for today’s youth. This year’s dramatic co-production, Romeo and Juliet, delivered by Brisbane Boys and Girls Grammar Schools, gave a lightning-speed insight into this experience. 

With award-winning Brisbane Playwright and Director Daniel Evans adapting the text, the production carried an undercurrent of hope, teasing out the play’s roots.  

‘These violent delights have violent ends.’ - William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) 

While the venue was intimate, the production value was tremendous, and it took a mammoth effort from the 90-strong cast and crew to achieve such an innovative feat. The three swiftly sold-out performances and countless fantastic audience reviews speak directly to this.  

“The reimagining was truly poignant and stunningly presented in the most exquisite of locations.” - Guest 

“Absolutely blown away by the talent.” - Guest 

Onlookers were awed by Sidney Younger’s lighting as the stained-glass windows became dazzling refractions of light as hearts were won and lost; as parties became feuds; and as police intervened. Hand-held torches seamlessly evolved from panning search lights to party strobes, later becoming a twinkling backdrop above the deathbed of the star-crossed lovers.  

Vertical scaffolding played host to longing, gossip, protest and DJing. The grand piano left of stage became a glowing platform for vocal duets; a nest for plotting and scheming; and of course, the bed of the iconic tragedy. As a bonus, shadow play on heights of the back wall meant there was always somewhere enchanting to cast your eyes. 

Angsty figures echoed out from the wing halls while the arch door conducted swells of dancers, making the space expand and contract through the whirlwind of events. We mustn’t forget the sly cameo from Director/van driver Ben Newth (cue Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again.’)  

Miss Naomi Russell (Creative Producer) and Miss Sabrina Wall (Assistant Director)'s interactive soundtrack brought the production home, contrasting irresistible contemporary dance tunes with stripped back, delicate renditions of pop led by Choir Captain Maeve Lynch. Meanwhile, 90’s-style outfits paid an homage to Baz Luhrman’s film adaptation of the play. 
 
Last, but by no means least, Fight Director and Intimacy Coach NJ Price’s guidance made for some truly gut-wrenching fight scenes and romantic embraces.  

A round of applause goes out to the entire BGS and BGGS cast and crew for such a memorable show, as well as the nearly 1,000 viewers who showed up in support.   

“Emotional whiplash, in the best way.” - Guest 

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