Celebrating Shakespeare’s most famous work, Romeo and Juliet with a delicious twist.
What happens when four boys from a repressive Catholic school, where talk of lust is forbidden, discover Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and decide to act the scenes out? Something that started off as just innocent foolery between friends will turn into something that lasts beyond the four walls of their library.
Shakespeare’s R&J is a play written by playwright Joe Calarco and was first published in 1999 before making its rounds around the world. As an acknowledgement of its popularity, The Actors Studio Seni Theater Rakyat has finally brought it to life on the Malaysian stage for the first time ever in Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC).
Despite the horrific Friday jam, I survived my way through Kuala Lumpur and reached about 15 minutes before the play began. Thankfully, the four actors — Arief Hamizan (as Romeo), Aaron Al-Fateh (as Juliet), Malik Taufiq, and Qahar Aqilah did not disappoint with raw emotions and well synced expressions that concluded a fantastic play.
How did I enjoy it, personally? I was just exclaiming, “Finally!” at the fact that I got to watch a play in Malaysia that explored sexualities beyond heteronormativity (without condemning homosexualities and the rest of the spectrum). Kudos to the director, Jeff Kevin and the rest of the team at Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat.
Attendees of the show sure did enjoy the, ahem, action within the play. To enjoy the show with minimal difficulty, reading up on the Romeo and Juliet storyline beforehand was helpful as Shakespearian language can be hard to keep up with.
Unfortunately, R+J just ended their run last Sunday, but no worries as there are more in this Shakespeare 400 series to come! Catch their next one, Shakespeare Demystified: The Merchant of Venice, happening from the 20th to 24th of April at KLPAC. Follow the updates on social media with the hashtag, #sdmov2016.
Students with a valid student card are entitled to a discount and tickets will be priced at RM35 each. Tickets are available for purchase at KLPAC’s box office —now relocated into the building— and/or reserved via a phone call.
For more information, visit the KLPAC website.
Featured image taken from KLPAC.