FRINGE 2013 – Shakespeare for Kids – Romeo and Juliet – Holden Street Theatres

I’m a Shakespearean purist. With the single exception of Ethan Hawke’s 2000 version of Hamlet and maybe one or two Kenneth Branagh adaptations floating around here or there, if it’s not adhering strictly to the Shakespearean script it’s generally not good enough for me. So I was a little anxious about how a show could possibly still be Shakespeare but could also entertain children of ‘all ages’, as The Recycled Theatre Co suggested it could.

Apparently I need not have been concerned. Adapting Romeo and Juliet, this performance stayed largely faithful to the original Shakespearean version, at least in language and plot, while altering enough of the tragic and adult themes to make it both relatable to and entertaining for young children without being traumatic. In particular, slapstick comedy was used as a key device, to great effect and laughter.

Absolutely entertaining for the whole family, this show will make you feel like a more cultured parent, and will go towards abating some of the guilt from Saturday morning cartoon watching. The Recycled Theatre Company is also presenting kid-friendly versions of The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet during the 2013 Adelaide Fringe and, I am informed, Hamlet is riotously comical, if that can be believed.

‘I loved it’ – Anais, 4 years old


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