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Shakespeare in the Ruins' Stripped-Down Romeo & Juliet

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Rachel Browne Theatre (Venue 8), to Saturday

This all-male local version of the romantic tragedy has toured to high schools, probably with great success. At 75 minutes, it’s fast-paced, engaging and irreverent, milking every ounce of the Bard’s bawdy humour.

It’s entertaining just to see how fast four actors have to change in and out of Renaissance costumes and reappear. Andrew Cecon is the bosom-padded Nurse and the smarmy, pageboy-wigged Paris (both played for abundant comedy) as well as the fierce Tybalt (the sword fights are first-rate).

Ray Strachan, who tended to flub lines, and the solid Glen Thompson also juggle three roles each. Tom Keenan’s playful Mercutio is the standout, but when Keenan becomes the brunette-wigged Juliet — the love story is played straight — he seems afraid to embrace the feminine, awkwardly clutching his dress.

What’s lost here is the depth of the star-crossed lovers’ passion. If you’re going to hire a male actor for Juliet, you’ve got to go all the way with conviction.

— Alison Mayes

From the official Fringe Festival program:

Conceived and adapted by SIR, directed by Kevin Klassen, and featuring sprightly comic and courageously dramatic performances by Andrew Cecon, Tom Keenan, Ray Strachan and Glen Thompson, this four-actor, all-male version of the world's greatest love story is a rare mix of the traditional and the audacious!

Showcasing spectacular sword fights, magnificent costumes and the original text, this is a show for anyone who loves (or hates) Shakespeare!

Recommended For: Family Friendly

Length: 75 min.

Tickets: $10

Warnings: Occasionally lurid Shakespearean word-play: discretion is advised.

***

Watch video here.

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History

Updated on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 3:07 PM CDT:
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Updated on Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM CDT:
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