Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bottom Dog bring New York production of Romeo and Juliet to The Loft

LOCAL theatre company Bottom Dog have teamed up with the New York based Forestburgh Theatre Arts Centre to present a co-production of Romeo and Juliet in the Loft venue this week.
The innovative local theatre company have joined forces with the New York based company to present an exciting version of the classic play, which Liam O’Brien of Bottom Dog describes as “fast, furious and edgy”.
“It is going to be a very slick, very fast production, just six actors but they are going to be doubling up all of the roles and there is a modern, contemporary rock score,” explained the well-known local actor. “It is just 80 minutes, so it is very much for those afraid of Shakespeare and three hour productions and features a punky, American cast in modern clothing, flying through the stuff, using music to make it very accessible.”
It was Liam’s own trip to the prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre in California last summer that spawned the idea for a co-production, with one his fellow actors involved with the Forestburgh group, who are based in the Catskills of New York.
“We wanted to do something between the companies and either do something over there or them come over here,” explains Liam of this first international collaboration between the groups. “The first step is them bringing this production of Romeo and Juliet over here, and one of the actors is a tutor that taught us so there is a real Steppenwolf flavour to it.”
“It is a cracking story, but doesn’t get bogged down in the minutiae and the heavy detail - it has been condensed into a very accessible play and it will be exciting to see how Americans do Shakespeare as well. They have a great love for it, but they will approach it in a very different way to its normal production,” he adds.
The group are also set to tour around Ireland while they are here, and will be performing Romeo and Juliet in Friars Gate Theatre in Kilmallock during their Limerick run, and interest is high in the collaboration.
Romeo and Juliet runs in the Loft on Wednesday, January 19 and Friday and Saturday, January 21-22 at 7.30pm. For bookings call 085-2085737.

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