It’s 2016, and countries across the world are celebrating the Bard’s 400th birthday. Singapore is no different, and SRT has decided to celebrate with a performance of Romeo and Juliet for this year’s edition of their highly acclaimed annual Shakespeare in the Park.
We attended this year’s edition of Shakespeare In The Park on opening night, and SRT has delivered the goods once again with Shakespeare’s classic tale of young doomed love. Thomas Pang and Cheryl Tan star as the leads in Romeo and Juliet, both rising talents in the local theatre scene, and handled the famous roles with aplomb, setting up the initial spark of first love, to the final (spoiler alert) double suicide, even leaving some audience members in tears. Director Daniel Slater also modernized the production, introducing Romeo and Juliet as contemporary teenagers, one carrying a backpack as he wandered onstage, and the other carrying in a skate scooter. Slater also introduces a mysterious reporter-type character lurking onstage, recording every important moment of the play. If you ask us what his purpose was, we’re just as stumped as you are, and perhaps readers can share their thoughts on what he signified.
One of the marks of a good production of Romeo and Juliet is their Mercutio, and Shane Mardjuki, as usual, brought the quirky best mate of Romeo to life. Juliet’s nurse, played by the indomitable Jo Kukathas, brought a good dose of humour and life to the stage every time she appeared, and can probably do no wrong.
Shakespeare In The Park has always had big, mind blowing sets, and this year is no different. Designed by Francis O’Connor, the quirky, modern set, constructed in the park over 5 days after countless hours spent on design, loomed over the entire audience, filled with platforms of various heights that created a landscape of ups and downs, much like the path of a rocky relationship. The set was bathed in red and blue mood lighting designed by Gabriel Chan, which looked beautiful against the starry night.
All in all, this year’s edition of Shakespeare In The Park comes highly recommended. SRT productions are always polished and professional, and Romeo and Juliet is no different. Come with your partner, your family, or even by yourself, and by the end of the night, you’ll definitely have enjoyed yourself.
Protip: Remember to bring a foldable chair, mat or cushion along to Fort Canning! No matter how good the play is, your butt is still going to hurt after sitting down for 3 hours. And of course that picnic basket!
Stand to win a pair of tickets from us for you to watch Romeo & Juliet! All you have to do is to follow us on Instagram @bakchormeeboy, and tell us how you and your partner met each other.
Romeo and Juliet
27th April – 22nd May (7.30pm)
Fort Canning park (Located at Gothic Gate, Carpark A)
You can get your tickets at Sistic