The famous play Romeo and Juliet written by William Shakespeare has recently been reproduced in South Korea. With actor Jung-min Park as Romeo and Geun-young Moon as Juliet, the remake of the play premiered on December 9, 2016.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy involving two star-crossed lovers. Romeo and Juliet are from two feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Acknowledging their situation but unable to give up their love, the two secretly get married with the help of Friar Laurence. Afterwards, however, the Montagues and the Capulets get into a fight. Tybalt (Juliet’s cousin) ends up killing Mercutio (Romeo’s friend), and the enraged Romeo ends up killing Tybalt. With Tybalt’s death, Romeo becomes exiled from Verona, causing the two lovers to separate. Juliet’s parents urge her to marry Count Paris, but Juliet does not wish to do so. Left with no choice, Juliet visits Friar Laurence, and he gives her a potion so that she can pretend to have perished for two days. The friar explains that while everyone thinks Juliet is dead, he would send a message to Romeo, and reveal their plan. However, the messenger does not reach Romeo in time, and Romeo mistakenly thinks that Juliet has passed away. When Romeo arrives at Juliet’s tomb, he encounters Paris who does not know about Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. They get into a fight, and Romeo ends up killing Paris. Devastated about Juliet, Romeo drinks the poison that he bought earlier and dies next to his lover. A few moments later, Juliet wakes up and finds Romeo to be dead. Heartbroken, Juliet kills herself with a dagger, and lies next to Romeo.
I watched the performance on the night of December 29. Especially because Geun-young Moon is such a distinguished actress, I had high expectations for the show. As expected, Jung-min Park and Geun-young Moon did an excellent job of acting out the characters Romeo and Juliet. The two and the other performers successfully transformed the familiar play into a fun and enjoyable performance. It was as if the stage was one with the audience as the actors incorporated some witty punch lines. “It was amazing how the makers reproduced Romeo and Juliet. The play is a classic that was originally written in English so it would have been difficult to remake it into a Korean play, but the producers did an excellent job,” said an audience after the show. One thing that came to me as a disappointment was the stage settings. The stage was very simple, and the only thing that really changed was the color and the lighting of the background to indicate a different scene. I thought the play would have been much better with more diverse equipment and props on the stage. Overall, however, it was an entertaining performance with pre-eminent acting.
Sun Woo (Madeline) Kim
Yongsan International School of Seoul
Sun Woo (Madeline) Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
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