with Hip Hop

DIRECTED BY HELEN DOIG (Playhouse Creatures, Gertrude Stein and a Companion, Diva)

Zane Alexander,
Daniel Buckle,
Stephen Lee,
Maja Liwszyc,
Lucas Marie,
Angelique Malcolm,
Jessica Messenger,
Nick Pages-Oliver,
Nichola Renton,
Josh Walker and
Rubeun Yorkshire

Subiaco Arts Centre                                                     
3 to 13 September 2014

Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
18 and 19 September 2014

The tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers, re-imagined in today’s world of hip hop and gangsters, is brought to you by Class Act Theatre in its 20th anniversary year.

Class Act has a stellar reputation for making Shakespeare accessible to modern audiences –  and this production will be its most exciting yet! Directed by critically acclaimed director Helen Doig (Playhouse Creatures, DIVA) and  incorporating the music of hip hop artists,  MCTrooth and Loftee Beats, this production will breathe life into the text of Shakespeare’s greatest play giving it relevance and meaning to today’s audiences.

An ambitious production, Romeo and Juliet with Hip Hop is far more than a student-targeted Shakespeare show with a gimmick. The attention to script detail, the strong human interactions – the Capulet family dynamics, the irrepressible enthusiasm of Romeo, the no-fuss impatience of Sister Laurence – brings new life and hopefully meaning and understanding to not only school-aged audiences but to Shakespearean devotees as well.
– Nerida Dickinson, ArtsHub

A great show at Subiaco Arts Centre. Class Act takes Romeo and Juliet to a new level. Hip hop and bouncing along with lots of fun. Nice ensemble work. Congratulations all.
– John Flood

The standouts in the early going are Daniel Buckle as Mercutio who adds a real sense of mischief while Jessica Messenger is a feisty Benvolio. Lee initially provides comic relief as the Nurse and his song and dance number was all kinds of brave and funny.

Nick Pages-Oliver plays Romeo with a twinkle in the eye and there is a lot of sly humour here. The well-built Rubeun Yorkshire makes for a menacing Tybalt and the rap-style fight between the two works well. Our Juliet is Maja Liwszyc who was excellent in the last Class Act production I saw (Frames) and excels again here. She conveys strength in opposition to her mother and father’s wishes (Katya Shevtsov and Kane Alexander) while displaying a real sweetness and joy in her love for Romeo. The cast is rounded out by Josh Walker as the rival suitor, Paris.

What adds to the first act working so well is that the actors are never off stage and add spontaneous laughter and catcalls from the wings that enhanced the sense of play. The company had genuine chemistry with ‘in the moment’ interactions. I was really enjoying the humour and fresh take on such well known material.
– Richard Hyde

Thank you so much for the performance yesterday. Feedback from students and staff was incredibly positive with a great deal of positive comments. My Year 12 Stage 3 English class, who hadn’t studied Shakespeare, wanted to spend the first part of their lesson questioning me on the plot and asking why certain characters behaved as they did!

The feedback from the staff and students has been really positive- everyone enjoyed it. The rapping was a great touch and the added humour by your actors was great! Thank you so much for performing for us.
– Ashdale Secondary College

Nine of our College students attended the AM performance yesterday and we all LOVED it. Great energy, commitment and clear communication. The “street” vibe carried so well throughout the production and the intimacy of a “smaller room” helped to capture the moments we love the most in one of Shakespeare’s best. Well done and thank you!
– Bold Park Community School