Watched Aug 11, 2012
Ronan Doyle’s review:
Ah, the curse of the modernised Shakespeare: do you amend the text to contemporary English and thus lose much of its impact, or retain the Elizabethan patois and in so doing make your characters seem silly as can be? For Alan Brown’s extraordinary Private Romeo, the trick is to turn text to metatext and thereby not only utilise the full power of the Bard’s writing, but even amplify and enrich it too. A group of military school cadets studying Shakespeare’s famous love story find themselves reciting it along the corridors, in the gym, on the basketball court, its timeless tale of star-cross’d lovers soon taking on an added significance for two of the young men. With the benefit of Brown’s stylish but unobtrusive camerawork and an incredibly impassionate cast of New York stage veterans, the play finds a magnificent new treatment, at once reverential and radical. Few have adapted Shakespeare to screen with greater success.