Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Lend Me Your Ears" - October 2009

The Citizens Young Co return with an evening of short Shakespeare extracts and their own scenes inspired by his plays. I have to confess that even as someone who has enjoyed previous Young Co productions I wasn't entirely confident I was going to enjoy this one. I shouldn't have doubted them.

Although staged in the Circle Studio, the show actually commences in the Citz foyer with a playful performance between Scott McKay's Romeo and Rehanna MacDonald's Juliet that sets the tone for much of the evening. All in there are 14 pieces that make up the 70 minute show covering most of the Bard's greatest hits.

Jack Kinross and Sampath Fernando make a play for the limelight should any mishaps befall the cast of the Citz production of Othello later this month while Claire Dyer's Lady Macbeth was played with such energy and relish that I'd have happily watched the whole play. I'm completely unfamiliar with Richard III but Chris McCann's fantastically creepy performance also left me wanting more. In fact all of the pieces worked well, but I think my favourite was the interaction between Emma Swift's Hero and Kat Lamont's Beatrice in the "Much Ado About Nothing" segment which was adapted by Emma Swift and directed by Lisa Corr.

Impressively the cast all play to the whole audience - something we've seen many others struggle with in the intimate in-the-round setting. But that level of comfort is something that I suspect comes from the atmosphere that Director Neil Packham and the Citz have fostered - there's a real sense of ownership and community about it.

An enjoyable and accessible night - even for those who don't do Shakespeare.
Lend Me Your Ears finishes its run on Saturday 10th October
Image by Helen Black used with permission.