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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Romeo & Juliet: This Is Our Verona

"Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" - Juliet, from Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare.

Romeo & Romeo is one of the most popular play of William Shakespeare that's been performed for a countless time around the world since it was published by the great bard. It was also adapted into several movie adaptation, both foreign and local.

Nic Campos, the Director of the Manila Shakespeare Company enjoins everyone to watch the play on February 27, and March 5-6, 2015 at Teatrino in Promenade, Greenhills. He is also directing the play.

"We take what we call an up-to-the-minute approach to one of Shakespeare's presumably improbable plays (which is saying something) and examine it psychologically as well as literally. We trace connections between minute, single-line details in the text and allow ourselves to extrapolate when necessary back stories for the characters, a practice not universally smiled upon among Shakespeare practitioners. That said, we intend to honor the text with all of our decisions, even those that seem to deviate... Always we work toward a synthesis between our individual attitudes as artists, the reality around us, and the reality offered by Shakespeare. We attempt to balance these elements in order to create something at once familiar and at the same time excitingly, surprisingly new." 

And to set them apart from the rest, Manila Shakespeare Company's take on the popular classic goes beyond the Elizabethan original. It has a lot of delightful twists that reminds me greatly of West Side Story (a Broadway adaptation of Romeo and Juliet) sans the singing part, and tons of badass characters similar to the strange world of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. I particularly liked the character of Lady Capulet in this modern adaptation because she looks like Death (imho), from the Sandman series.

This adaptation of Manila Shakespeare Company's Romeo and Juliet opens up in a modern Verona wherein the characters are dressed in a suit, a leather jacket, and a little black dress.

I was fortunate to watch the preview with my daughter, and the play was both classically and simply presented that she was able to enjoy it and has been bugging me about watching the show even if its her exam week already.

To quote some of the actors during the presscon-

"The world is not dead, there is hope yet." - Romeo, portrayed by Nelsito Gomez.

"This is our Verona. The uniqueness of life, everything is a new experience in this play." - Mercutio, portrayed by Micko Yabut.

"Don't just settle for watching Shakespeare ... live it." - Juliet, portrayed by Rachel Coates.

Here's my daughter with Benvolia, portrayed by Tricia Torres. The character of Benvolia is the reason why my daughter wanted to watch the play. She said that she liked the cool and tough character of Benvolia (including the leather jacket). So as not to be confused, the original character by Shakespeare is Benvolio.

Ticket price:

Premier ticket (inclusive of dinner) - P1,500.00
Regular ticket                                   - P   850.00

** discounts apply if you buy four or more tickets. For more details, please call - 0939-5969250 or email -

Catch the play on February 27, March 5, and March 6 at Teatrino in Promenade, Greenhills.


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