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RSC to stage new production of Romeo and Juliet

Published: 14 April 2018
Reporter: Steve Orme

Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick in rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet Credit: Ellie Merridale

A new production of “the most famous story of love at first sight”, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, is to play in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford before a national tour.

Erica Whyman, deputy artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, will direct the play, with Bally Gill playing Romeo and Karen Fishwick as Juliet.

The rest of the cast comprises 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), Charlotte Josephine (Mercutio), John Macaulay (cousin Capulet), Tom Padley (Balthasar), Sakuntala Ramanee (Lady Montague), Raphael Sowole (Tybalt) and Nima Taleghani (Abraham).

Fifty-six young people from Birmingham, Coventry, Northampton and Warwickshire will join the professional cast. The young people aged between 12 and 18 attend schools in the RSC’s associate schools programme or work in partnership with the RSC. They will perform in teams of four each night in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, sharing the role of the chorus with the professional cast.

Design is by Tom Piper with lighting by Charles Balfour. Music is by Sophie Cotton and movement by Ayse Tashkiran.

Romeo and Juliet runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford from Saturday 21 April until Saturday 21 September. The press performance will be on Tuesday 1 May. The production will be broadcast in cinemas on Wednesday 18 July.