Reviews - Fringe 2014

Fringe Review: Romeo & Juliet: An Escapist Comedy

By Ryan McGreal
Published July 28, 2014

Romeo (Ryan Sero) is re-imagined as a whiny, kvetchy Woody Allen character, ruminating on the purpose of his life and contemplating suicide because his girlfriend Rosaline (Laura Ellis) dumped him to become a nun and he can't get a reservation at his favourite restaurant.

He meets his co-eponymous love, Juliet (Analee Flint) at a masquerade and falls for her after hearing her insightful take on the central themes explored in Melville's Moby Dick.

But Romeo is also a self-aware character in a play, and he manages to piss off the Greek Chorus in addition to inciting a deadly exchange between the feuding Houses of Montague and Capulet.

This play was flat-out hilarious. It's really hard to do live comedy well, but Romeo & Juliet gets everything right: a brilliant script, exemplary acting, impeccable timing, top-notch production and a pace so rip-roaring that you'll miss some of the jokes because you're already laughing too hard.

Exploring universal themes of love, meaning and life purpose through a witty, self-referential structure that punches big holes in the fourth wall, this play showcases a company of versatile actors at their finest.

Sean Emberly lays on some major Stanley Tucci charm as Capulet and Friar Lawrence, and Tyler Brent steals every scene he's in as the Nurse.

Their last Fringe performance is over but this company will continue to perform the show in another venue, so keep an eye out - this play is absolutely not to be missed.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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