Mr Bean as Romeo? You’re having a laugh!

In my teens, I went to see Sean Bean and Niamh Cusack in Michael Bogdanov’s production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ for the RSC. I was not familiar with Sean Bean at the time, but vividly remember it being a brilliant production, with an outstanding cast. Cusack and Bean performed with a sublime touching innocence but Michael Kitchen stole the show with his dry-witted, inebriated Mercutio as a hilarious foil to the young lovers.

Michael Kitchen as Mercutio RSC Romeo and Juliet Michael Bogdanov shakespeare

Mercutio demonstrating the three Ds: dry, dapper and very drunk.

As you can see, the production was in modern dress and was played out against a monochrome backdrop of eighties materialism and culture of greed. It struck me that due to the contemporary setting of the play, it now looks really dated. The styles and fashions of the time didn’t stand out when I saw it, as the actors pretty much mirrored the appearance of the audience. But when I googled images of the production I fell about laughing at how quintessentially eighties and dated it all looked.

Michael Bodanov Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare

The spiral perm and the highlighted mullet. It was acceptable in the Eighties………..but at no other time. Ever.

I had great intentions of discussing the issues that arose from my rereading of the play (for my Shakespeare challenge ) but after last week’s miserable UK General Election result, I think we’ve had more than enough tragedy for one week.

So, to cheer us all up, I thought I’d post up some pics of a very young and handsome Sean Bean in his ludicrous eighties white crumpled suit with bouffed hair, and Niamh Cusack with her massive perm and romantic Laura Ashley frillies.

Michael Bogdanov Romeo and juliet RSC Sean bean Niamh Cusack, Shakespeare,

The perm, the pearlised make-up, the large dangly earrings, the pastels – all obligatory for the teenage girl c1987 , and I should know 😉

In the photograph below, Beany looks like he’s been given the left over wardrobe pickings from Wham! and oh my – what a perfect specimen of the late eighties highlighted mullet; slightly longer, shaggier and blonder than its predecessors, and all the more preposterous for it. What ever happened to those over-sized pastel fisherman’s knits?

If you suffer from any form of eighties fashion sensitive incontinence or are allergic to parakeets, look away now .

Sean Bean's shakespearean mullet

Don’t worry Sean, Winter is coming. Once you’re the Hand of the King, you’ll not have to put up with that mullet for much longer!

Michael bogdanov's Romeo and Juliet sean bean RSC Niamh Cusack, Shakespeare

Acres of ruched leather, crumpled suits and pale slip-on shoes. Someone pass me that dagger.