Ken Branagh and Rob Ashford’s vision for their production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was 1950s Italy, and Tomboy Theatre Live took the decision to film the play cinematically in monochrome to reflect the films of that period by Federico Fellini.
The result was a first in the world of Live Theatre broadcasts and was praised by critics and audiences alike.
‘The play was broadcast live in cinemas nationwide and it was a completely unique cinema experience. There were shots of the audience prior to the show starting and you really felt part of the performance despite being hundreds of miles away. In the run up to the show Kenneth Branagh came on for a brief introduction which must have been a nice bonus for the theatre audiences, he explained that the play would be broadcast in black and white to reflect some of the Italian films of the 1950’s and 1960’s, for example ‘La Dolce Vita’. It was an odd choice considering this would not be the experience that the theatre audience would be getting but due to this versions’ mid-20th century setting it did work and gave the experience a more cinematic feel.‘
- Ben Cherry, Plymouth Arts