Romeo and Juliet gets the technicolour treatment

Gold Coast’s Technicolour Theatre Company puts their own twist on arguably the world’s most famous love story, Romeo and Juliet.

Show Director Timothy Wynn is no stranger to tackling Shakespeare, but this production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Technicolour Theatre Company steps largely outside of the box. An inspiring group of young actors plan to take on one of the most famous and respected plays in theatre history, but as Timothy describes it, this take on a classic is not a production for Shakespeare purists, containing some surprising twists and turns, and an enchanting touch of theatre magic.

Ahead of the production’s opening night on 8 October, Blank sat down with Timothy to get a better look at what we can look forward to in Technicolour Theatre Company’s production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

Would you mind telling us a little bit about your directing career and your involvement with Technicolour Theatre Company?

I first started out as an actor and over time found my way into directing. In 2008 I founded THAT Production Company and have since directed close to 40 productions as dwell and forming an interest in the development of new work. I met TTC Artistic Director Andrew Cockroft-Penman early 2018 and we shared common philosophies on theatre. Late last year he asked for a suggestion on what production the youth theatre should do in 2020 and I recommended Romeo and Juliet and he thought it was a. Great idea and asked me to direct it.

How has your directing style changed over the years and is there a drastic change between productions?

My style definitely changes from production to production – mostly because each production I learn something new whether it be a technical aspect or something about working with actors.

How did you birth the concept for the Romeo & Juliet production?

I have directed this play before a few years ago and that production was what you could consider very traditional. Coming at the play second time round I wanted to see how a group of young people responded to the themes in the text and was interested in a process guided by that.

Where do you usually derive inspiration from for your directing style?

Whenever I work on a production I am inspired by the cast and what they bring to the rehearsal room. And of course the text and the play itself.

In what ways have you applied that inspiration to Romeo & Juliet?

For this production I have really allowed myself to be inspired by this group of actors and what they bring to the story and their individual interpretation of Shakespeare’s words.

What can we most look forward to when we see the performance? What makes it stand out from other Shakespeare productions?

In this new version a lot of the adult roles are cut or reduced significantly. This isn’t a production for Shakespeare purists. It was important to me that these actors all played characters their own age so more characters have been added and dialogue repurposed.

What have you loved most about the directing process of the play?

The part I have loved most is by far working with a group of exceptionally talented young people. They bring a lot to the room and it makes for a fearless and energetic rehearsal room.

What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?

The tricky thing with Shakespeare is that the text does so much of the work for you. You walk a fine line between the production supporting Shakespeare’s words and excess.

Do you have a favourite scene or line from the play?

My favourite scene is the final is the final scene and without wanting to give anything away it is always exciting to bring natural elements on to the stage. In this instance we create some wonderful theatre magic with water.

How do you ensure your actors are comfortable and the environment is friendly to work in, especially working with younger actors?

The great thing about working with TTC is there is always a great team behind the production to support the work we are doing. A play like Romeo and Juliet covers some pretty intense themes and deals a lot with sex and violence. We are lucky to be working with an intimacy coach and a fight director to help us realise these aspects of the production in a safe and professional way.

How do you prepare your actors for making mistakes on stage? What’s the best approach in your opinion?

Mistakes are bound to happen as it is all part and parcel with theatre being a live medium. The most important thing is the actors having trust within each other and being flexible enough to roll with the punches.

The combination of Timothy Wynn’s creative direction and the inspiring talent of the young actors is undoubtedly going to make watching ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Technicolour Theatre Company a worthwhile cultural experience. Expect a unique take on a classic which incorporates emotive stagecraft along with a few surprises, and you will not be disappointed.

The show runs over four performances until Saturday 10 October, with one show sold out and only a few tickets left for remaining performances. Book here.

IMAGE (c) Rix Ryan Photography

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