Local actors Finlay Langelaan and Georgia Chapple take the stage as the star-crossed titular lovers in Nelson Summer Shakespeare’s production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Photo: Supplied.

REVIEW: Nelson Summer Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet holds audiences spellbound

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Romeo and Juliet

Nelson Summer Shakespeare

Fairfield House – Thursday 16 January

Reviewed by Donna Chapman

Shakespeare is alive and well in Nelson! Opening to a near capacity audience last night, the highly skilled cast held the audience spellbound from the word go.

Every actor plays multiple roles with ease and grace showing both skill and talent as they flow in and around the simple tent set.

The skill of this production lies with the actors’ ability to grasp the Shakespearean language and deliver it in a way that is accessible and easy to follow. The pace, rhythm and timing of the show is exceptional, with moments of brilliance and magic.

The pastel pallet of costume design, simple and understated, sits well with the Nelson summer evening. The feuding family members are assigned contrasting colours of red and blue, the tones of both softened and wrapping the story in a lightness that both contrasts and balances the tragedy.

I cannot draw out any particular performer as it seems all of them are on fire for opening night. The original music by Roger Sanders dances its way through the story supporting the action with sensitivity and poise.

The cost is left up to the audience to contribute what they feel the show is worth, and we are asked to bear in mind that it is to pay the actors, and feed their children. I certainly hope audience members have plenty of cash on them tonight.

Once again, Nelson Summer Shakespeare has created and delivered a quality production well worth seeing.

Nelsonians, do something different tonight.  I urge anyone interested in live theatre to go along with your picnic to Fairfield House for an evening of memorable performance and music, and witness the famous story of the “star-crossed lovers”, in your own back yard.

Romeo & Juliet continues at Fairfield House until Friday 24 January (excl Mon 20 Jan), then tours to Riverside Community (25 & 26 Jan), Washbourn Gardens (29 & 30 Jan), Isel Park (31 Jan & 1 Feb) All outdoor performances are 6pm start. Tickets: Pay What you Decide. 

One very special plush-seated performance concludes the tour, indoors at Nelson’s Theatre Royal – Sun 2 Feb, 2pm. Here tickets apply – from Theatre Royal Box Office

More details at ItsOn.co.nz or Facebook: Nelson Summer Shakespeare