Valentine loves Silvia and Proteus loves Julia - but Proteus is fickle and falls for Silvia too. When Valentine plots an elopement, Proteus betrays him and Valentine is banished and joins some outlaws in the forest. What are the chances that he will be waited upon, after a fashion, by their servants Speed and Launce and Launce's dog, Crab?
The Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays and its characters are all young, energetic and hot-headed. Shakespeare was able to explore many themes in this play, mainly the love between friends and love between romantic partners.
The decision to set the play in 1966 has opened up many creative doors for Everyman's Artistic Director Nick Bagnall and along with composer James Fortune, has produced a very interesting interpretation of Shakespeare's themes. There is no set as such just a stage where instruments and mics are kept together. The top of the stage is used as a platform for many scenes allowing exits and entrances and adds dimension to the otherwise bare set.
This is a multi talented cast with many switching from character to band member. Proteus and Valentine played by Dharmesh Patel and Guy Hughes both hold a boyish charm to their characters, while Silvia and Julie (Aruhan Galieva & Leah Brotherhead) hold their own, showing that women's resolve will always pull through.
There are some lovely dance sequences dotted throughout and Bagnall's dance off between Valentine and Proteus is a particular highlight. There are moments like this all the way through with the cast jumping from character to band member. It really should not work, but the free loving sixties are perfect for this play as Shakespeare's characters are young and are exploring love and friendship. Bagnall has put the two together and has used Shakespeare's words and put them into a sixties love ballad.
Glorious storytelling told by a multi talented cast, this show has something for everyone. Director Bagnall is no stranger to resetting a traditional text and revamping it, with his anarchic version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (Everyman 2015) and The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead this latest play proves to be another success.