La Mama Romeo and Juliet - photo by Nayt HousmanDramaturgical milkshake or theatrical liquorice all-sort – there’s such a lovely craft in how Lily Fish and Kimberley Twiner have pieced together the myriad of elements that make up #romeoandjuliet that you can pick your metaphor, really.

The audience are introduced to a small circus, but an earnest one. Stephanie (Lily Fish), the Strong-Woman, is feeling under-appreciated. She’s unhappy with the strict direction dictated by the Ring-Master (Kimberley Twiner). However, whenever the Ring-Master steps away, Stephanie finds solace in a copy of Romeo and Juliet, and she struggles to keep her own passions buried.

What’s striking about the work Lily Fish and Kimberley Twiner do is their ability to make the physical comedy so precise, yet never appear rigid and false. From the micro with Lily’s facial twitching to the macro with Kimberley’s extravagant dance movements, there was nothing in their performances that seemed wasted or unnecessary in their storytelling.

Each time Stephanie had a chance to read from Shakespeare’s text, the sense of freedom and possibility she was experiencing was wonderful. Indeed, the entire show worked to take the space at La Mama and turns it into a boîte of delight; terrific Midsumma fare.

La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton
Performance: Tuesday 16 January 2018 – 6.30pm
Season continues to 21 January 2018
Information and Bookings: www.lamama.com.au

Image: Kimberley Twiner and Lily Fish – photo by Nayt Housman

Review: David Collins