R&J The tale of Romeo & Juliet

October 2004 "R&J The tale of Romeo & Juliet" was staged at the Wendt.


“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...” When William Shakespeare penned those words, little did he realise that they would become part of the greatest love story written in the English language. Throughout the years, Romeo & Juliet has come to signify the beauty of innocent young love blighted by twisted fate and tragic circumstance. Over time, Romeo & Juliet has endeared itself to the world; loved for its’ brilliant poetry, remembered for its’ searing tragedy and idolised for its’ stark portrayal of two pure hearts in absolute love.

It is a play that has raised as many questions as it has striven to answer. Were Romeo & Juliet too young to be married? Did the Nurse and Friar Lawrence play surrogate parent roles in the lives of Romeo & Juliet? Were the lovers too hasty in their decision to kill themselves? Was it true love or lust? Why didn’t Juliet follow Romeo to Mantua? Was the tragedy of their own making or was it fate? What part did Mercutio’s death play in Romeo’s decisions? Would Paris have made the better lover for Juliet? Could Friar Lawrence have done more to prevent the tragedy? Was Benvolio responsible for pre-empting the chain of events by taking Romeo to the ball? Could the prince have prevented this tragedy by enforcing the city’s laws rigidly?

Some of these questions have defied scholars through the ages and may never be answered. However, some of them will be, this October when the StageLight&Magic team unveils their production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Directed by Feroze Kamardeen, this play will feature some of the best-known names and some of the most exciting young talent in English theatre on one stage. Jerome de Silva will play the mercurial Mercutio, Mohammed Adamally the prince, Anuruddha Fernando acts as Friar Lawrence and Ian Herft will be featured as Tybalt. Marsh Dodanwela, Manoj Singanayagam, Shanuki de Alwis, Swasha Perera, Wanda Gottlieb, Kevin Francke, Krishan Jayaratnam and Chamath Arambewela form one of the best casts ever assembled for an English theatre production.