It was an idea ambitious, exciting, dynamic in scope; to take a space apparently not intended for a stage, and call it one; to place an actor in that space and set the magic of theatre in motion.
The opening street scene, in which rival gangs exploded into the High Street with their jeers and leers, disrupting with riotous and intimidating ease the News Reporter’s prologue, proved most exciting and striking. These Capulets and Montagues, only seconds past seeming one with the general public, spilled dangerously into this place, raising the stakes, making theatre.
The scene of Juliet’s apparent suicide, set in her ‘bedroom’ (upstairs in the Guildhall) also deserves a mention. Seated on rows facing a giant double bed, cushioned by a blood-red carpet or an ornate chair, we squeezed into this space with uncomfortable intimacy to witness the Nurse and mother’s discovery of their deadened charge and daughter. I was the rubber-necker on the motorway, the spectator-voyeur of performance art, the guilty onlooker, delighted and appalled by the scene I had been invited to witness. The moment touched me as all great theatre should.
There was much in this production to its merit, much to be developed and explored should The Pranksters return to the complex challenge of filling Guildford’s range of open spaces.
Extracts from review by Madeline Clements – Surrey Advertiser