Benjamin Maio Mackay
RSC Live: The Two Gentlemen of Verona - 3.5 Stars
This re-imagined production of a Shakespeare comedy classic is vibrant, full of life, entertaining and features a wonderful cast!
This is one of the lesser known Shakespeare plays and the RSC describe it as “a play that deals with the themes of friendship and infidelity, the conflict between friendship and love, and the foolish behavior of people in love.”
Simon Godwin directed this adaptation and this is the first time during the RSC Live seasons Simon has directed a play. His creative vision is strong and the way he has modernised the play’s setting and costuming is clever and unique. Paul Willis’ set design is clever, unobtrusive and supports the style and setting of the play.
The four leads of this play are all considerably younger than your average Shakespeare lead and all four actors give outstanding performances. Michael Marcus plays Valentine and he clearly shows the character’s transition from being scornful of love to falling head over heels in love. Mark Arends plays Proteus and while his overall performance was strong he didn’t quite make the audience hate him as much as they should. Pearl Chanda and Leigh Quinn as Julia and Lucetta also gave strong, spellbinding performances.
Overall a change from the RSC’s usual style and it’s certainly a change for the better! The Two Gentlemen of Verona has a great director and a superb cast! Don’t forget to check out Palace Nova Cinemas other live events over the coming months!
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Movie screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas