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Theatre

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Rubbish Romeo and Juliet

Admission £14/£12
Start Time 13:30
End Time 15:30

Rubbish Shakespeare Company make their return to Liverpool with a revival of their debut production, Rubbish Romeo and Juliet. And the cast and crew couldn’t be more miserable about it, as they once more sully Shakespeare’s legacy with a play that’s so rubbish, it would leave ‘The Bard’ spinning in his grave.

This rubbish show is for kids, but don’t call it a children’s show. This production is a TRUE family show, in line with all-ages entertainment like Pixar and The Simpsons – and the riotous atmosphere of a panto! Beloved by the entire family, kids will bond with their parents and siblings over raucous belly laughs. Featuring an accessible mix of the original text with modern references, human balconies, sausage roll fights and plenty of high-octane slapstick, it’ll likely be the funniest tragedy you’ve ever seen (yes, you read that correctly), though the cast don’t intend it to be.

“I don’t know why people keep turning up” says Artistic Director (and Juliet), Lee Hithersay. “We try to do a serious Shakespeare, perform it correctly, and everyone just laughs at us. I wouldn’t mind, but the other two in the cast keep breaking character, bickering, and throwing a strop onstage. It’s embarrassing! I play Juliet and I’m supposed to fall in love with Romeo at first sight – but have you seen him? Genuinely, how can I be expected to fall in love with that? Daniel Day Lewis would struggle.”

Touring since 2018, and performing in schools for five years before that, the company has stained the reputation of every theatre they’ve performed in. Rubbish Romeo and Juliet’s storytelling is full of devilishly cheeky shortcuts, and layered so fluidly with interactive moments that will surprise even the biggest fan of the 400 year old original. The show may seem to fall apart, but it somehow still tells an abridged version of the classic play that’s been lauded for its faithfulness to the original source material. Especially the bit at the end where Romeo and Juliet drench each other with bottles of poison in a petty game of one-upmanship.

Wait, but is it actually rubbish? ‘Ok, not really,’ admits Lee. “Though we squabble, bicker and try to full-on-flee the show a number of times, it’s all meant and rehearsed. Every moment has been carefully timed to within an inch in order to maximise the laughs. We are still rubbish though; our props are foraged and repurposed from ‘tat’ we’ve found at the pound shop. Our wigs are raggedy and matted. Shakespeare can be pompous and intimidating to many, so our aim is to de-mystify it. Our motto is ‘Shakespeare for All’, regardless of age or background. So, we mess up his plays and act as silly as possible. We want everyone to leave thinking: if they can do it, so can we!”

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