Review - Romeo & Juliet and Gangsta Granny
Heartbreak Productions kicked off their schedule of outdoor theatre in Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa last week and Raring2go! went along to see two of their 2019 shows - Romeo & Juliet and Gangsta Granny - before they head off on a tour all around the country.
Romeo & Juliet (by Raring2go! Bromsgrove & Redditch):
I was invited to an exclusive glittering red-carpet event that was attended by notorious celebrity families, the Montagues and the Capulets. This production of Romeo and Juliet was to performed in a modern day setting with the back drop of beauty and social media world. So it was a bit like Made in Chelsea vs. Geordie Shore with much better dialogue but not the best communication.
The Capulets are having a party and everyone is going to be there. Lady C wants everyone to know how important they are and most importantly how influential they are compared to the Montagues. A bit like a Real Housewives of Cheshire do!
With the media reporting their every move and social media abuzz with their escapades tensions are running high. There’s only one question on everybody’s lips – will these two families behave, or will it be another fiery battle at dawn as the fabulous feud continues?
By accident or fate , Romeo and Mercutio are invited and they hatch a plan to invade the show and cause a bit of chaos but when Romeo and Juliet’s eyes meet all thoughts of chaos and mayhem go out the window. Mercutio and Tybalt really don’t like each other and when they cross each other on the wrong turf they have a fight and knives are drawn, someone is killed, the killer’s killer get’s killed and the punishment is death or deportation.
In the midst of all this death Juliet’s dad wants her to marry world known rapper DJ Paris. Unbeknown to him, she’s secretly married Romeo. Romeo is to be deported, can Juliet’s nurse help, will her dad change his mind once he knows she’s already married, will she run away? What will the star crossed lovers do?
You must go and see this fabulous show on tour as the acting is out of this world and the story is so easy to follow with it’s very modern interpretation, you will be on the edge of your seats ! It’s a ten from me !
Join Heartbreak for this super glam outdoor adaptation of Shakespeare’s star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. Set in the here and now, and mixing in some modern language, music, and technology, this production explores how one of the most celebrated tales of passionate love would play out in the 21st century.
Remember to charge your phone, as tweeting, snapchat, and selfies are highly encouraged. After all, if you haven’t posted it online, has it really even happened? It would be a good idea to take a chair and pack the picnic (after you’ve uploaded it to Instagram, obvs!).
Gangsta Granny (by Raring2go! South Warwickshire):
We packed up our picnic and made our way to Jephson Gardens ready for an evening performance of David Walliams' Gangsta Granny. We arrived nice and early and as we were spreading out our blanket in front of the stage and settling in, member of the cast made their way around the audience investigating the picnic offerings and even engaging some embarrassed parents in impromptu ballet lessons complete with bright yellow tutu and feather boa! This all set the tone for what was ahead and as the sun came out at last we were all looking forward to a fun evening.
The story of Gangsta Granny will be familiar to most families with young children from the book or TV adaptation so we all had a fair idea of what was to come. The characters were fabulous - especially Flavio Flavioli and we definitely thought that Rachel Dussek's portrayal of The Queen was spot on! The kids were sat giggling almost throughout the whole production - from the fart jokes from Granny's cabbage obsession to PC Fudge, there were lots of moments to recall and smirk over on the way home!
The use of simple props and staging to take us through the various scenes was brilliant. Granny's mobility scooter was a favourite! Be prepared for lots of audience participation with a quick "Floss" or ballet lesson and a chance of getting wet as Ben and Granny dive into the Thames on their grand heist! Raj's shop is open before the show and during the interval if you need to top up your picnic with a sweet treat.
Outdoor Theatre is a always a great experience. The necessary informality and intimate atmosphere that naturally goes along with it makes it completely different to a traditional theatre. We loved this production. The two hours flew by and we spent the evening laughing together, absorbed in the story unfolding in front of us.
Heartbreak Productions has a selection of outdoor theatre productions this summer - from family fun to ghostly romps, they have something to suit every mood and will be touring the UK and Ireland.
While the opinions above are all our own, it is important to mention that Heartbreak Productions kindly gave us the tickets for these performances so that we could share our thoughts with you all.
Local Mum of two boys and editor of Raring2go! in Solihull and South Warwickshire.
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