Adelaide Festival

Adelaide Festival Review: Juliet and Romeo


Presented by Lost Dog
Reviewed 5 March 2022

It is not unreasonable to consider Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as one of English literature’s most touching love tragedies. It is intriguing to consider what their lives would be if the tragedy of their deaths didn’t occur. Ben Duke and Solène Weinachter have presented an opportunity to explore that in their very funny but quite serious dance/theatre production Juliet and Romeo.

Performed by Solène Weinachter and Kip Jonson, immediately the performers establish a relationship with the audience by removing the third wall and directly explaining the difficulties the two have experienced in their marriage. Especially after the fame that was created for them by Shakespeare who wrote his play based on their lives. They concede that he changed the ending somewhat by omitting that the two lovers in fact survive their planned suicide and rushed off to make an exciting and passionate life together in Paris. A passionate life that is until the cracks in their relationship start to develop, with an unplanned pregnancy a winding blow to the happiness they were both expecting.

The audience is privy to their experiences by both Romeo and Juliet performing for the audience a new couples therapy they are trying, clearly due to the fact that all the other methods have resulted in something less than successful. The novelty of this treatment is they stage a performance of their personal memories and dreams in which the two at times are invited to join. The tension in their relationship only becomes apparent when they see how contradictory their accounts are.

A passionate performance, Weinachter and Jonson’s full-bodied dedication to their characters is absolute. Their dancing is flawless and acting at all times is not only believable but easily relatable. The comedy, to which a significant proportion of the show is dedicated, is subtle and organic. It is so unexpected and difficult to describe how, as an audience member, to be intensely involved in a dramatic scene and then moments later laughing hysterically.

The audiences’ standing ovation was not unwarranted.

Reviewed by Simon Lancione

Venue:  Scott Theatre, Adelaide University
Season:  5, 6 with matinee, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 with matinee March 2022
Duration:  75min
Tickets: $25 – $69


Rating out of 5: 5

#Adelaide #ADLFringe

More News

To Top