The quirky take on the classic play shows that an audience can make a difference

Spoiler Alert: Romeo ended up with Rosaline and Benvolio ended up with Juliet.

This was just one of the many plot twists that awaited audiences watching Romeo and Juliet: Choose your own Ending by JuiceBox Theatre.

For those of you who don’t know, Romeo and Juliet is the tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers that weren’t meant to be.

Although there were a total of five plays, we only got the pleasure of seeing the one production on Friday night, April 3.

The play was introduced and the first character walked out. A jester, played by Andrea Roberts, recited the classic “Two households both alike in dignity.” with the Shakespearean start we braced ourselves for another boring high school English production and snuggled down in our seats.

When they started swearing and talking in modern vernacular, we changed our minds and sat up.

Our stomachs were hurting from the beginning of the play just because we were laughing so hard.

True to their word, at critical points in the play, the audience had a decision to make.

At the first critical point at the Capulet party, by show of hands, then by yelling, Romeo (Brandon Cairns) asked the audience if he should stay true to Rosaline (Amy Rempel) or pursue Juliet (Jessica Gurnsey).

The audience yelled that he should stay true to Rosaline.

At the second juncture, a raffle ticket decided the characters’ fates.

Romeo asked one audience member if he should break up the fight between Mercutio (Mitchell Fagnan) and Tybalt (David Stewart), or let them dual to the death.

JuiceBox Theatre stayed true to the original story line for the most part with just a few changes.

“Wherefore art thou, men men?” asked Rosaline in the famous balcony scene.

At the third juncture, Romeo asked the audience if him, Benvolio (Brittany Dorozio) and the girls should run away, or if they should try to make peace with Tybalt.

However, he asked the audience to cluck like a chicken or moo like a cow.

Romeo played by Brandon Cairns and Tybalt played by David Stewart are at odds with each other.

Photo by Emily Thwaites

The chicken clucking won out and they tried running away.

However, this was foiled by Tybalt.

Rosaline and Juliet, when locked in their room by Tybalt, plotted to pretend to take their own lives, as the original plot dictates.

Mercutio snuck into their room dressed like a woman and promised to tell Romeo and Benvolio about this plan so they could save the women.

However, Mercutio got distracted by none other than a pretty lady and failed to tell Romeo and Benvolio about the plan.

The ending was like the original Romeo and Juliet as Shakespeare would have wanted, except for the fact that Romeo, Juliet, Benvolio, Rosaline, Tybalt and Mercutio all died.

All in all it was a very enjoyable experience.

We have to give some credit to Fagnan who played Mercutio. We started off thinking the character was pretty annoying, but by the end he was probably the funniest of the batch.

That’s not to say that everyone else wasn’t wonderful and hilarious though. But have to say, we felt a bit of an emotional connection with Rosaline who was brought to life by the beautiful Amy Rempel.

JuiceBox Theatre is a theatre-club based out of Mount Royal University that is on its second year and was started after the Mount Royal Theatre program was cut.

10/10 would watch again or see another play by JuiceBox Theatre.

hdeeves@cjournal.ca & khuitema@cjournal.ca 

To contact the editor responsible for this story; Garrett Harvey at gharvey@cjournal.ca