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Theatre review: Romeo & Juliet, by Toy Factory Productions

Published on Feb 19, 2014 2:20 PM
Ethel Yap and Benjamin Kheng play the star-crossed lovers in Toy Factory's production of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. -- FILE PHOTO: TOY FACTORY PRODUCTIONS

Drama Centre Theatre/Tuesday

Like the titular star-crossed lovers, whose romance is doomed from the play's prologue, this musical adaptation by Malaysian director Nell Ng has one foot in the grave the moment it begins.

The popular love story of two teenagers from feuding families and their forbidden love over-ambitiously aims to be musical, romance, comedy and tragedy all at once, and ends up with caricatures of every genre instead, because it has no idea where to go.

Shakespeare can, in fact, be all of these things. But when the audience is misled into viewing a moment of great tragedy as a comedy, and audible snickers ripple through the crowd, scenes that could have reverberated with warmth instead ring empty and hollow.

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