Billy’s Joy

Romeo isn’t quite himself in this story. First, he is transported from his old, heartbreaking tragedy to a comedy and ends up in a fairyland. Why? Because Needcompany wanted to devote themselves entirely to reconciliation and love after the Shakespearean excesses of bloodshed in Billy’s Violence. Originally, the idea was for Jan Lauwers’ son Victor to distil a cheerful piece from the comedies of the Immortal Bard, but his intensive study of the material revealed: William Shakespeare’s comedies are not funny. So Needcompany conceived their own. Which comes at a cost, however, and dear old Romeo in the fairyland is the one who has to pay it: he has to face the fact that his Juliet has been removed from the story. Naked and lonely, he must continue to search for love until somebody saves him. This someone arrives in the form of Henry Bolingbroke, the future King Henry IV from Shakespeare’s history plays. But Romeo mutates into Richard II, and the two meet the fate of the other: Romeo is deposed and Richard disowned for love.