Romeo & Juliet
If you ask any member of the cast of our 2006 Romeo and Juliet tour what the most memorable performance was they will invariably tell you it was ‘the one with Elton John’. I should point out that Sir Elton did not guest star in the show on any occasion although that would have been, as the kids say, awesome. No, the cast would be referring to a performance in Canterbury that happened to coincide with an Elton John concert on the other side of town. This resulted in the play having a surprise Elton John soundtrack*.
There were some brilliant coincidences, not least when Juliet was considering faking her own death to hit song ‘I’m Still Standing’. And, of course, the cast had a field day seamlessly inserting lines like “Are you ready? Are you ready for love, Juliet?” into the iambic pentameter.
All of this isn’t to say that the play was usually anything less than brilliant. For a start it featured Romeo exclaiming “It’s the famous bit!” at the start of the balcony scene, now an official Pantaloons Classic Gag. The Nurse and the Friar provided much comic relief, regularly going off-text; the former to hand out chocolate bars, the latter to take suggestions as to how the play could be brought to a happier ending. Of course, Romeo and Juliet still died at the end **SPOILERS!**
Oops. That should have come before the spoiler, shouldn’t it?
*Interestingly the recent film Gnomeo and Juliet actually had an Elton John soundtrack. We did it first. By mistake.