PROJECTS

 

Reggie Perrin

This production of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare was performed at The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester in February/March 1992.

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young "star-cross'd lovers" whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families.

It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers. Shakespeare's use of dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill.

The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play.

Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical and opera. During the Restoration, it was revived and heavily revised by William Davenant. David Garrick's 18th-century version also modified several scenes, removing material then considered indecent, and Georg Benda's operatic adaptation omitted much of the action and added a happy ending.
Performances in the 19th century, including Charlotte Cushman's, restored the original text, and focused on greater realism. John Gielgud's 1935 version kept very close to Shakespeare's text, and used Elizabethan costumes and staging to enhance the drama.
In the 20th century the play has been adapted in versions as diverse as MGM's comparatively faithful 1936 film, the 1950s stage musical West Side Story, and 1996's MTV-inspired Romeo + Juliet.

Author: William Shakespeare; Directed by: Gregory Hersov ; Design: David Short; Cast:Balthasar JOSEPH ALESSI Gregory, First Watch CHRIS BRAILSFORD Capulet JOHN BRANWELL Lady Capulet AMELIA BULLMORE Juliet KATE BYERS Abram, Mercutio's Man, Paris' Page DAVID CARY Friar Laurence, Chorus JONATHAN HACKETT Nurse, Lady Montague GILLIAN HANNA Benvolio, Watch PAUL HIGGINS Paris DORIAN LOUGH Mercutio, Watch JUD MEYERS Montague, Apothecary GEOFF OLDHAM Prince, Friar John CRAIG PINDER Romeo MICHAEL SHEEN Samson, Watch NEIL STUKE Tybalt, Watch MARK WOMACK