A wonderfully surreal work, Midsummer Night’s Romeos, was commissioned by the Japan Performing Arts Foundation and premiered at the Toga Spring Festival in Japan, April 2003. Director Jacqui Carroll has twinned Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with Romeo and Juliet to make a modern masque, a parade of dream like fantasy characters that disport themselves in the ancient and modern agonies and ecstasies of love.
Two Demi gods conduct the rituals from cloudy comfort, playing with the star-crossed lives of the 3 Romeos and 3 Juliets. The Demi Gods toy with the lovers in ways both malign and benign, using them as puppets for their vicarious amusement. Jacqui has also combined the roles of Puck and Cupid, who with her gnomic sidekick, Igor, are gothic gargoyles that wickedly shepherd the doomed teensters through their bittersweet trajectory. Being a masque, the musique and costumerie are extravagant and eclectic drawing on a wide range of sources to amplify the romantic, tragic and fantastic nature of the spectacle.
‘Because the night belongs to lovers…’
Demigods: Lisa O’Neill, John Nobbs
Cupid/Puck: Caroline Dunphy
Igor: Thierry Cartoux
Juliets: Emma Pursey, Leah Shelton, Neridah Waters
Romeos: Conan Dunning, Yuu Matsuyama, Ramsay Hatfield
Adaptation/Direction: Jacqui Carroll
Sets/Props: Robyn Graham and John Nobbs
Costumes: Glen Brown