Romeo and Juliet
Essential Theatre & Coriole Vineyards, Jan 23
Recipe for a great summer night: take one sunny early evening, add a splash of Sangiovese and enjoy with a side of Shakespeare. To the good fortune of Adelaidean's, Coriole Vineyards got the memo.
In conjunction with Essential Theatre, they serve up an annual night of wine and theatre in the beautiful outdoor setting of their cellar door. Now in its ninth year, the collaborative offering for 2011 was the ever popular Romeo and Juliet.
From the most basic costuming, set and props, the Essential Theatre troupe recreates the works of the playwright with skill and flair. The entire cast is outstanding, each adding their own crucial piece to a quality final product.
Don Bridges is utterly hilarious in his various roles. Glenn van Oosterom portrays an impressive Romeo, capturing the tortured youth’s passion and conviction, while the beautiful Imogen Sage is perfect as Juliet. She embodies the character's lovesick naivety.
Brad Flynn is to be commended for his work on the many fight scenes in the play. The combat was believable and entertaining, with the martial arts devotee’s excellent choreography executed with vigour and humour by the cast. Foulkes, as Mercutio, is particularly enjoyable to watch with hilarious physical and vocal reactions.
Leaving Shakespearean preciousness and snobbery at the door, these performances are the great man’s works as they should be – flamboyant, cheeky, accessible and laugh-out-loud funny. The company use Coriole’s grassy stage expertly to get as close as possible to the audience, allowing us to share in the performance and they to share our wine.
You will struggle to enjoy Shakespeare as much as this elsewhere and repeat attendances are yet to dull the experience. It's a great show in a great setting, with food and wine to boot - what else could you ask for? A must-do summer event; put it in the calendar for 2012.