Starcrossed at Wilton’s Music Hall: Press night review by Stephen Vowles 

Writer Rachel Garnet and director Philip Wilson have hit on something here which is very good, that has an elegance to it that is stunning. 

Taking “Romeo & Juliet” as its starting point, the beauty of the English language is maintained here and where the Bard’s prose is used, it is blended beautifully. 

This is the imagined love story of Tybalt and Mercutio – played by Tommy Sim’aan and Connor Delves – who bring their grand romance to life with such joy; totally engrossing themselves in the roles that are extremely believable, plausible, poised and poetic with a touch of soap opera bawdiness thrown in for good measure.

Resplendent in period costume and working with fight and intimacy director Haruka Kuroda, they occupy the stage with a force and power that adds a remarkable pace and style to the play which in turn makes it a captivating theatrical experience. The energy of the actors is simply beguiling.

Special mention has to be made of scene-stealing Gethin Alderman, who takes on the massive challenge of playing ALL the supporting roles from Paris to Juliet. His comic timing is a masterclass. His chemistry with Delves and Sim’ann is superb and when it comes to the execution of the twists and turns that Garnet has woven into her script, these are accomplished with an ease that is formidable, adding an air of campness to the play that also works very well.

Garnet explores themes of secrecy, potential blackmail, macho projection, self-doubt, fear of recriminations, lust, need for power, respect and the consequences of falling in love, family loyalty, and sense of duty with a passion that is exquisite. And there is a nice modern touch when she gets Mercutio to say, “I hope in 500 years time there is an understanding and tolerance to gentlemen like us and we are acceptable.” A poignant prediction.

Starcrossed will put a spring in your step and a smile on your face and is well worth seeing. Sexy stuff indeed! 


Photos: Pamela Raith Photography

Starcrossed runs to Saturday 25th June at Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, London E1 8JB. Box office: 020 7702 2789

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