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Evaluate: Freewill Shakespeare takes Romeo and Juliet underneath the massive prime

There’s loads of love, loss, deceit, intrigue, and extra homicide than you would possibly count on from this traditional the corporate retains contemporary and vibrant

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Let’s get one thing out of the best way: Romeo and Juliet die on the finish of what’s arguably Shakespeare’s most well-known play. In the event you’re shocked by that revelation, the issue is your personal.

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However the viewers comes for the journey, not the vacation spot. The Freewill Shakespeare Pageant does an unbelievable job with the retelling of the story of the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. There’s loads of love, loss, deceit, intrigue, and extra homicide than you would possibly count on from this traditional the corporate retains contemporary and vibrant for adoring audiences.

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To recap for many who could have forgotten their highschool English class, our two protagonists meet and instantly fall head over heels in love. Getting in the best way is a little bit of social awkwardness resulting from them sitting at reverse ends of warring households in Verona — Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet compelled aside by circumstance.

They marry in secret, however Romeo should flee after murdering Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, an act of revenge for the killing of his good buddy Mercutio. Tensions ratchet up, Juliet is betrothed to a different, and the story culminates with the 2 leads downing a vial of poison after an unlucky little bit of confusion.

Romeo and Juliet
Nadien Chu, left, Christina Nguyen and Brett Dahl, above, in Freewill Shakespeare’s manufacturing of Romeo and Juliet. Picture by Eric Kozakiewicz /Equipped

Standing in for Verona is the Cristal Palace Spiegeltent, an ornate construction with heat picket flooring and dazzling mirrors, a really attractive venue for such a lovely efficiency. The competition’s conventional dwelling, the Heritage Amphitheatre, is closed for the following three years whereas Hawrelak Park undergoes renovations, so it’s simply as a lot about necessity as innovation.

The tent is a enjoyable and attention-grabbing change. The viewers surrounds the stage on three sides, proper up near the motion, an intimate expertise with an up-close-and-personal view for everybody in attendance.

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That intimacy can also be introduced dwelling by way of the minimal staging and small solid. A single desk is the one on-stage dressing for the two-hour present, actions and dialogue transporting the viewers to honest Verona. Minimalism works nicely for Romeo and Juliet, a play closely targeted on the interior turmoil and boiling feelings of youth.

There are two downsides to the brand new venue: seating and sound. With simply greater than 200 spots, it’s fewer than what the competition’s regular venue may accommodate, and it may possibly get a bit tight underneath the massive prime. Arriving late may make it troublesome to discover a good seat, although it didn’t seem as if there have been too many poor sightlines contained in the Spiegeltent. Nonetheless, be on time.

Being near main roadways additionally means site visitors noise can filter in throughout the efficiency. It doesn’t trigger main disruptions, nevertheless it’s a far cry from the peace and quiet of Hawrelak Park.

On stage, the ten actors dazzle and entertain on this drama for the ages. Christina Nguyen is each charming and frightful as Juliet, whose coronary heart is stolen and who can’t stand to dwell with out her beloved. She waxes poetic after her new paramour, wailing when she learns of his banishment.

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Jessy Ardern is equally robust as Romeo, the dashing and impetuous hero whose emotion drives the present. The electrical energy between the pair is palpable, the star-crossed lovers who’ve enraptured audiences for 4 centuries alive once more for one more night time.

Romeo and Juliet
Jessy Ardern, left, and Christina Nguyen in Freewill Shakespeare’s manufacturing of Romeo and Juliet. Picture by Eric Kozakiewicz /Equipped

Scott Shpeley, taking part in three roles, steals the present because the silver-tongued Mercutio. He delivers his traces with finesse and bravado worthy of the function. The largest tragedy of the night time: Mercutio is taken from us too early, murdered by the cowardly and quarrelsome Tybalt.

The tragedy, the drama, the unfairness of life and a pair of youngsters separated by households extra intent on preventing each other than recognizing the impact their actions are having on the following era. Romeo and Juliet is a timeless story of affection and loss, plotting and politics, delivered to life so nicely by the Freewill Shakespeare Pageant.


Romeo and Juliet

Director David Horak

That includes Jessy Ardern, Christina Nguyen, Brett Dahl, Dean Stockdale, Graham Mothersill, Kris Unruh, Nadien Chu, Scott Shpeley, Troy O’Donnell, Yassine El Fassi El Fihri

When Odd evenings and even matinees, till Sept. 3

The place Cristal Palace Spiegeltent, Edmonton EXPO Centre, 7515 118 Ave.

Tickets Beginning at $25 from

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