REVIEW: Mercutio & Ophelia @ Ottawa Fringe 2012

In Fireflood Theatre’s presentation of Mercutio and Ophelia, the two titular characters from different Shakespeare plays meet in a tavern for a nice chat about love and life.

What would have happened if Mercutio and Ophelia, two characters from completely different Shakespearean plays, would have met in a tavern near Verona? That is the central concept of “Mercutio and Ophelia”. Both characters clash immediately, with Ophelia fiercely defending love against the more indifferent Mercutio. But they gradually get to know each other, revealing their past and their secrets.

Reworking Shakespeare isn’t new but Mercutio and Ophelia does it very well. The actors are both strong, and take advantage of a very simple and limited set, though the show could have benefited from a bit more exuberance, specifically from Mercutio. In this show he is more of a dry wit whereas he is known for his grand standing in Romeo and Juliet and it’s a shame there wasn’t as much of that here. Ophelia was well played, showing her fierce temper and stealing Mercutio’s blade more than once which is fun to watch. The banter between the characters is strong, and I found myself really enjoying the the script.

As the play nears the end, there is a lag in momentum but the story is solid and well told and able to carry you off to the end. Three.

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Kurt Shantz

About Kurt Shantz

Kurt Shantz is a Theatre and Scriptwriting graduate and an occasional Should You See It reviewer. He currently works as a warehouse clerk, but has big aspirations of someday achieving his dream of becoming a senior warehouse clerk. He's also been known to write on occasion.

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