The Diever open-air theatre has undergone a transformation over the last two years. Rather than a proscenium arch or thrust stage, last year a catwalk model was introduced, with a narrow heightened stage, and the audience sitting on two sides. On each side, a walkway allows the actors to enter from amongst the audience. Such a set-up requires amplification of the actors’ voices, because they can never face all of the audience at once; much of the acting is one-dimensional, seen only from the side. This year a dimension was added by superimposing a gallery on top of the catwalk, running the same length and breadth. The construction consisted of black metal tubes, looking like the scaffolding of a nineteenth-century factory, with rounded arches and ornaments. Gigantic cogwheels suggested the inevitability of Fate, once set in motion. The set’s industrial look matched the “steampunk” costume design, with the male Capulets wearing top hats, the Montagues leather pilots’ caps, complete with goggles. Instead of swords, they carried hammers for weapons.
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