What an amazing achievement! When Richard Stride had the idea of recreating the Rose Theatre Playhouse and putting it in the auditorium of the Groundlings Theatre, some said it could not be done.
But he has achieved his dream in time for a summer season of Shakespeare plays.
Known as the Rose Playhouse, built in London 12 years before the Globe Theatre, more than 400 years ago audiences enjoyed an experience that was as intimate as it was exciting.
In a scaled replica of the theatre where Romeo and Juliet would have been first performed, Groundlings Theatre are presenting special productions of Shakespeare’s classic love story Romeo and Juliet and comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
The shows are nothing short of brilliant. The costumes are authentic and the acting is superb. The all male cast appearing in Romeo and Juliet are boosted by some amateur actors from the Groundlings Drama School in the classic comedy of Much Ado About Nothing
Jason Ferries excels as Romeo and is aptly matched by Connor McCreedy as Juliet.
So tender are their love scenes that one almost forgets that the role of Juliet is played by a man.
Richard Stride, directs and is the comedic nurse in Romeo and as Beatrice in Much Ado.
Tim Skelton, who has appeared at the Groundlings in many shows, takes on the roles of Lord Capulet – the hard-hearted father to Juliet – and as Leonato in Much Ado.
There are lots of comedic moments in Much Ado.
The sword fighting scenes in Romeo and Juliet are well choreographed and quite scary when you are sitting as close to the action as I was.
Until July 25.