Hobson: Theatre Calgary’s online presentation of Romeo & Juliet inventive, modern

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There are obvious gimmicks that are both effective and fun as when Juliet talks to her nurse (Kaeley Jade Wiebe), as they both stare through an open door in their respective spaces.

Many of the scenes are played for more humour than normal as when Romeo, Mercutio (Billy Brown) and Benvolio (Siddharth Kumar) are getting ready to attend the Capulet party. Their grooming procedures are hilarious, with Kumar in particular clowning in grand fashion.

All the actors in this Romeo & Juliet are emerging artists, which means Juliet and her mother (Melanie Bahniuk) are obviously the same age. So Bahniuk goes for a heightened performance to compensate. It’s effective but it never allows her to hit genuine emotions. The same is true for Kiana Wu as a version of Friar Lawrence, the character who counsels Romeo and gives Juliet the sleeping potent.

Running Coyote and Dalgleish are more successful in their scenes together for obvious reasons and are particularly convincing and effective in their initial meeting and the parting scene.

Accessing the remaining Saturday and Wednesday performances of this virtual Romeo & Juliet is easy and free. Just go to theatrecalgary.com and click on the large message board.

Romeo & Juliet will be performed live online every Wednesday and Saturday until July 18 at 7 p.m. MT.

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