Romeo and Juliet - Paekakariki

Campbell Park, Paekakariki, Wellington

01/03/2024 - 03/03/2024

NZ Fringe Festival 2024

Production Details

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Shona Jaunas

Circle of Fifths

Summer Shakespeare in Paekakariki

The iconic Campbell Park with it’s skate park and sea views is the backdrop for this modern retelling of the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet. Two lovers trying to bridge the gap between rival gang feuds, a misguided mentor sending them on a fatal journey and a community left with the reeling truth that perpetuating violence leads to death.

For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

Bring a picnic, bring blankets, cushions and shoes you can walk in, we will be moving around the park, and do not forget there is a masquerade ball for us all to attend so bring a mask! Walking distance from Paekākāriki Station to the park!
1 to 3 March 2024, 7.30pm
Full Price $25.00
Concession Student, Gold Card, Community Service Card Holders, Carers/Companions $20.00
Child $0.00
Fringe Addict 2024 Get 20% off all your tickets! You must purchase a Fringe Addict Membership prior to selecting $20.00
Ticket + 5 Ticket+ $5 donation to the artists $30.00
Ticket + 10 Ticket+ $10 donation to the artists $35.00

Prince Escalus Susie Pegler
Count Paris Ben Wakefield
Paris Page Sorcha Ruth
Mercutio Frida Morley Hall
House of Capulet
Capulet Roger Hynd
Lady Capulet Sally Stopforth
Juliet Capulet Sophie Allan
Tybalt Jack Freeman
Nurse Gina Goad
Eliterate servant Mai Hasle
Samson Ian Crawford
Gregory Selina Toumey
House of Montague
Montague KT Julian
Lady Montague Kerren Hedlund
Romeo Montague Tess Upperton
Benvolio Holly Norton
Balthasar Esme Bainbridge

Friar Laurence Jan Bolwell
Friar John Selina Toumey
Apotecary Mai Hasle
Chorus Vicky Farslow

1st Watch Ian Crawford
2nd Watch Selina Toumey
3rd Watch Mai Hasle

Director Shona Jaunas
Producer Nicola Horwood
NZ Fringe Artist and venue Manager Fay Van Der Meulen
Artist/ Graphic design Sarah Laing
Costume/props Kate Nolan
Fight Master Simon Manns
Fight Director Nick Schultz
Fight Assistant Braden Lister
Music/sound Laurence Hortop
Choreographer Sally Stopforth
Hair/makeup Sophie Allen
Stage Manager Alison Amery-Zwartz
Lighting Adam Harrison

Outdoor ,

2 hours 20 mins

Did William Shakespeare already know what 2024 would look like?

Review by Steve La Hood 02nd Mar 2024

Kāpiti glows in the waning sunlight as the Paekākāriki Community take their seats around the skateboard park above the glittering sea. A big crowd. We all know each other – it’s a village.

And so begins this most cherished story of the star-crossed lovers, this everlasting tale of woe, of Juliet and her Romeo.

The play’s the thing.

In minutes, the audience is spellbound. It might be their kids playing Balthasar and Mercutio and Benvolio as a girl-gang fighting with skateboards. It’s likely their next-door neighbours who are playing the Capulet and Montague parents. Quickly though, the power of Shakespeare’s ‘box-of-tissues’ masterpiece transcends that familiarity and we are holding our community breath as the events grind to their inevitable conclusion.

The audience moves from the skateboard park to the children’s play area. The Capulet mansion is the climbing-house structure. We all dance on the lawn with the overhanging pohutukawa and the stars above. Romeo and Juliet meet each other on the swings. Friar Lawrence’s cell is the bottom of the slide under the trees. The lighting is surprisingly subtle and a wee bit ‘fairy-glen’. It feels so right.

This is not a review. It’s an affirmation.

I enjoy Juliet as a crabby, entitled tween. She certainly matches inconstant Romeo and his/her variability. The Nurse is adored by all – it’s the best part, let’s face it. Mrs Capulet is excellent as is Capulet himself. What a bastard he is. Friar Lawrence, Tybalt, the Prince and poor, mistreated Paris are all – what’s the word? – real. In the moment. [See full credits here – click Production Details.]

The performances are varied in skill, but none lack enthusiasm or understanding. At times though, the scene requires gravitas, not witty interpretation. Actions are broad because we are outdoors without microphones and, in a way, that’s probably how it was played under Shakespeare’s direction.

As the play comes to its awful conclusion as we knew it would from the start, there’s not a peep from the audience. I see a a mum consoling her child. I hear sighs. And then that earth-shattering summation from the Prince of Verona: “See what a scourge is laid upon your hate.”

He tells it like it is… in this performance, in our hearts and minds, in this divisive and dangerous world we’ve created – yes, even here in Aotearoa. Did William Shakespeare already know what 2024 would look like?


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