Shakespeare in the park a hit

Romeo and JulietHeartbreak ProductionsChristchurch Mansion LawnDRUGS, sex and brawling – Shakespeare's tragic lovers were just like any other normal teenagers.

Romeo and Juliet

Heartbreak Productions

Christchurch Mansion Lawn

DRUGS, sex and brawling – Shakespeare's tragic lovers were just like any other normal teenagers.

Except, of course, they are able to speak their minds intelligibly and with unsurpassed eloquence and beauty.

The magnificent Heartbreak Productions embraced the vigour of these young, tempestuous hearts with a ready wit, swashbuckling energy and feeling for the words that would violently shake anyone inclined to side with Carol "Shakespeare's dull as ditchwater" Vorderman back into their senses. This is the real thing.

Most Read

Framed by the mansion's delightful Dutch gables, the walls of Verona on a very dinky, well-worked set resounded with some of the great lines in Shakespeare. Not a word was lost.

But the action too proved gripping. Some of the fight scenes would rival WWF's finest as blood galore spilt on to the stage Tarantino-style as Tybalt got his comeuppance for bringing Mercutio's tomfoolery to an abrupt end. Mark Brisbourne was highly entertaining as Romeo's mucker as well as putting in a finely judged performance as Juliet's emotionally retarded mum.

Doubling, tripling and quadrupling up is the name of the game on a tour such as this and it was clear that the travelling troupe revelled in the ensemble. The audience crackled with appreciation.

As the two star-cross'd lovers, Sarah Annison and Matt Robinson were superbly well-matched.

They communicated with each other and the audience in vivid streams of imagination. And the best of it was, though the glowering clouds looked threatening, to answer Juliet, they DID have pity.

We kept dry as we were kept enthralled by the marvellous entertainment.