Paul T Davies reviews Sharon ‘N’ Barry Do ‘Romeo and Juliet’ presented by 6th March by the Queens Theatre Hornchurch.
Sharon ‘N’ Barry Do ‘Romeo and Juliet’
Queens Theatre Hornchurch, streaming until 6th March 2021
If one thing has come out of the last horrendous year, it’s that live streaming of theatre and the use of Zoom has got better. Designed entirely to be performed digitally, this show is an absolute hoot, not just in being irreverent to Shakespeare, (“We’ve cut out the boring bits”), but full of contemporary jokes about Zoom calls. Sharon and Barry perform the play to help their nephew with his homeschooling, and whilst Sharon is delighted to see her Zumba class in, Barry is not pleased that the football lads have turned up to watch him!
The show works so well because of the hilarious chemistry between the two actors. David Nellist plays into all the male insecurities of dressing up and acting, and his Romeo wig is a source of delight, and Joanne Seymour enthusiastically embraces the madness. The quick-fire changes are a joy, and there are some lovely camera tricks when more than two characters are in a scene. Michael Gove as Tybalt? – you better believe it! On press night, Jack Scannell-Wood was particularly fine as the nephew, bringing gravitas to the narration and the court.
Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give the show is that it reminded me of the classic Morecombe and Wise plays, with its rapid changes, inspired silliness and asides to the camera. Maybe the set up at the beginning, allowing the audience time to get into “the theatre”, is a little too long, but the play then cracks along at a great pace, director Douglas Rintoul and the company shaping a wonderful 80-minute entertainment that really lifts the gloom of the winter. Well worth supporting this wonderful regional theatre, and it will put a huge smile on your face!