THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY’S PRODUCTION OF ROMEO AND JULIET

ROMEO AND JULIET
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Erica Whyman
Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Saturday 21 April – Saturday 21 September 2018

RST in Stratford-upon-Avon
The Royal Shakespeare Company – Stratford Upon Avon

Like myself, the first contact most people would have had with the world of William Shakespeare was from their schooldays.
I was studying English literature at secondary school and we `had’ to do a play!
Not knowing much about the world of drama, theatre or poetry, it was not something I was particularly looking forward to.
The play we were going to study was a tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, about two young lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families!

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William Shakespeare

It did not sound like I was going to enjoy this play.
Needless to say, I absolutely loved the play and from that day forward was hooked on Shakespeare, visiting the Royal Shakespeare Company on several occasions over my adult years to soak up more of The Bard of Avon`s greatest works

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.

Everyone at the RSC – from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians – plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. All of their productions begin life in their Stratford workshops and theatres and they bring them to the widest possible audience through their touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town.

Shakespeares Birthplace
Shakespeare`s Birthplace

They encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  The RSC produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.  They have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and continue to nurture the talent of the future. The RSC reach 450,000 children and young people annually through their education work across the UK, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online. 

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The full casting has been announced for their five month production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman and designed by Tom Piper.

Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick will play the leading roles of Romeo and Juliet.

They are joined by Charlotte Josephine as Mercutio, known for her writing as well as acting. Charlotte’s hit plays include the award-winning Bitch Boxer and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe sell-out Blush. Her acting credits beyond her own work include being part of the Lyric Hammersmith’s Secret Theatre Company and Phyllida Lloyd’s Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse.

Playing Tybalt is Raphael Sowole, whose credits include Simon Stephens ‘ adaptation of The Seagull (Lyric Hammersmith), Pygmalion (Headlong, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Nuffield) and Black Theatre Live’s touring production of Hamlet.

The full cast also includes: Afolabi Alli (Paris); Donna Banya (Gregory); Stevie Basaula (Sampson); Ishia Bennison (Nurse); Katy Brittain (Friar John/Apothecary); Raif Clarke (Peter); Beth Cordingly (Escalus); Paul Dodds (Montague); Josh Finan (Benvolio); Andrew French (Friar Laurence); Mariam Haque (Lady Capulet); Michael Hodgson (Capulet); John Macaulay (Cousin Capulet); Tom Padley (Balthasar); Sakuntala Ramanee (Lady Montague) and Nima Taleghani (Abraham).

Romeo and Juliet is directed by Erica Whyman and designed by Tom Piper with lighting by Charles Balfour. Music is by Sophie Cotton and movement by Ayse Tashkiran.

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Romeo and Juliet Workshops for Young People

As previously announced schools in the UK will be given unprecedented access to the Romeo and Juliet rehearsal room as part of a new series of 45-minute LIVE LESSONS, giving students a unique insight into the creative process and interpretive choices that directors and actors make as they prepare to stage a new production. Live Lessons are generously supported by Virgin Media.

The RSC LIVE LESSON for Romeo and Juliet will be broadcast on 25 January 2018 between 10.30 and 11.15am. Led by Erica Whyman, the lesson will provide an overview of the show’s concept before focussing on the famous balcony scene between Shakespeare’s notorious star-crossed lovers. This is the most watched and studied scene from the play.

Alongside Romeo and Juliet, the RSC will be offering a series of events and workshops to make the play vivid, accessible and enjoyable for young people and their teachers.  The activities will use the same approaches used by the actors and director in the rehearsal room to help students develop their own interpretations of Shakespeare’s work. These will include:

  • GCSE Study Day: This full day workshop is tailored to explore key scenes, characters and language needed for students doing a GCSE in English or Drama.
  • Primary Open Day: Primary school groups will take part in a range of activities including an onstage session with members of the company.
  • Theatre Skills Day: Working with RSC Voice and Movement specialists as well as RSC directors, students will work on an extract of the text as actors.
  • Character Workshops: Tailored sessions to focus on specific characters from the play exploring the language they use, key scenes and relationships.
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“Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.”

BP £5 tickets and BP Shakespeare Pass for 16-25s
The BP £5 tickets and BP Shakespeare Pass for 16 – 25 year olds gives access to £5 tickets for all RSC productions whether we are performing in Stratford-upon-Avon, London or on tour. The pass enables 16-25 year olds to see five shows in Stratford-upon-Avon for £20 – the cheapest way to enjoy shows at the RSC. Tickets can be booked in advance on the phone, online or in person with some available for sale on the day of the performance.  The scheme is supported by Project Partner, BP.

Full details of the work of the RSC Education department is available here: www.rsc.org.uk/education

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