Vancouver Fringe Festival review: R’n’J: The Untold Story of Shakespeare’s Roz and Jules

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      This show reimagines an ending to Romeo and Juliet where a now-pregnant Juliet doesn’t kill herself, but finds Romeo’s previous love Rosaline and goes on the lam with her.

      The real tragedy now is this play’s confused plot and half-baked social commentary. Carmina Bernhardt, playwright and lead actor, is funny and sometimes earnest. But she’s buried under bad jokes about texting slang.

      Her Jules makes a token effort to decry the patriarchal society that brought her so low—and that’s buried too, with a joke about Romeo being “a fuckboy”. There’s an attempt at replicating Shakespearean language and meter, but the contrast with the other half of the script in modern-style prose doesn’t work. It simply feels unfinished.

      Any fan of the Bard would love a sincere exploration of what the relationship between Juliet and Rosaline could have been. But this incurious, underwhelming version needs a lot of work before it gets there.