On the evening of 27 April, a full house was treated to the SML College production of Romeo and Juliet. Looking at the programme, all of the students of the College were involved in some way, and, It was evident that a lot of work had gone into bringing the play to the audience.
In many ways, it was a typical production, with several last-minute substitutions and understudies being vaulted onto the stage at short notice.
In other ways, this was not your typical Romeo & Juliet, a play that is known for being a tragedy. However, Shakespeare was also playing with the genre. There is a great deal of comedy in the script and Director Claire Parkman managed to find a way to wrench every once of comedy throughout the show. It did not matter if it was from Lady Capulet (played by Flo) delivering her lines in what could only be described as on the verge of an emotional breakdown, or, the Apothecary (played by Jasper) arriving on stage with a Boots logo pinned to his back.
It was an enjoyable evening that showcased just how much our children have been learning. Whether it was the memorising of lines, taking direction, performing, making scenery, prop making, performing music for the soundtrack and improvising. It is rare that an entire production goes off without a hitch, but the key to a good performance is being able to handle the unexpected. Once again, Flo was memorable in this regard. At the beginning of one scene, noting that someone was missing, Lady Capulet did not break character whilst calling “My Lord Capulet, get her now!
Congratulations to all of the students and everyone involved in the production. The spirit of The Bard must have been smiling on them.
If I had one regret that evening it was that the show could not be taken somewhere, such as a retirement home, to add their laughter to our own.
by David Seidel.