Romeo and Juliet – 2003

Director Aiden Hervey/Mo Pearce

In my opinion, this is the greatest love story ever told. Based on a story handed down over generations, Shakespeare has written the classic love story which has stood the test of time, but has inspired numerous other shows, most notably Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. That is a remarkable piece of work in itself, updating the story to sixties America with memorable music. Ryan O’Neil’s Love Story is an even more up to date version.

A remarkable English teacher, Miss Gatiss, introduced me to Romeo and Juliet when I studied it for “0” Level. She had an ability to bring English Literature to life. This play is probably one of the best ways of introducing people, especially young people, to Shakespeare. It has it all – forbidden love, two young people who fall for each other, but are from two families that are at war with each other. Juliet, a very young, naive and innocent girl, who has had a sheltered upbringing. Romeo, one of the lads, but a pleasant, generally well behaved young man, who falls in love with a different girl almost every week!

They are aided and abetted by two adults who perhaps ought to have known better. The nurse, who has brought Juliet up from being a newborn baby, and who is practically her mother. She loves Juliet, likes Romeo, and is perhaps carried away by the sheer romance of the situation. Friar Lawrence is Romeo’s mentor and spiritual counsellor. He is very fond of the boy and probably does want him to get married in order to reduce the risk of sin. He is a sensible man, and it is interesting that he gets involved in this. As the confessor of all involved, he would be very aware of the consequences of such a match. It may be that he hopes that this may be a way of healing the rift between the two families.

This is not one of the great tragedies. Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth are tragedies of personality. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy of circumstance. If the message had got through then all would have been well. However, this is a love story with a tragic ending, which has reduced audiences to tears ever since it was first performed in the 1590s.

From an actors point of view there are some dream parts. For young actors, the principle roles, Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio, Tybalt, Benvolio and Paris are wonderful parts to play. For the mature actor, Nurse, Lady Capulet, Friar Lawrence, Prince Escales and Lord Capulet are equally satisfying to play. If I were not directing, then I would have loved to have played one of the three latter mentioned parts. Even for the support cast there is a lot of fun and action – especially for the servants.

From my point of view, it has been one of my life long ambitions to direct Romeo and Juliet. To do so in this marvellous open-air theatre, with a superb cast, and wonderful support from colleagues in this prestigious company is a tremendous privilege. I sincerely hope that you will enjoy it as much as I have.

 

Cast

CHORUS Gemma Crossland

ESCHALES, Prince of Verona Barrie Mclntosh

PARIS, his kinsman Nick Waldock

PAGE to Paris Christopher Burgess

CAPTAIN OF THE WATCH Oliver Scott

WATCHMEN Chris Topham, Tom Walters

MONTAGUES

LORD MONTAGUE Mark Hebert

LADY MONTAGUE Maryjane Clifford

ROMEO, son to Montague Henry Maynard

MERCUTIO, friend to Romeo Guy Marshall

BENVOLIO, friend to Romeo Ray Livermore

BALTHASAR, page to Romeo Ben Noad

CATERINA, servant to Montague Catherine Akers

MAGDALENA, servant to Montague Victoria Bays

 

CAPULETS

LORD CAPULET Phil Cox

LADY CAPULET Stephanie Waller

JULIET, daughter to Capulet Angela Clare Smith

TYBALT, cousin to Juliet Richard Briggs

ANGELICA, nurse to Juliet Maggie Caspall

PETER SAMPSON, servant to Capulet Oliver Scott

ABRAM, servant to Capulet Tom Walters

PAGE to Capulet James Walters

FRIAR LAWRENCE Robin Walters

SISTER CLARE Victoria Bays

Monks, Servants, Guests etc. played by members of the Company

 

Production Team

Director Aidan Hervey

Assistant to the production Mo Pearce

Stage manager Kevin Connor

Assistant stage manager Beth Connor

Set designer Jeremy Bays

Choreographer Pam Williams

Fight manager Dave Higgins, Peter Fishwick

Sound team Steve Goodwin, Amanda Leaden, Maggie Redgrave

Wardrobe mistress Jo Fradley

Costume team Mo Pearce, Terry Dick

Poster design Simon Webb

Stage construction Kirton Construction

Set construction & backstage Kevin Connor, Amy Monk, Jayne Ellis, Gary Mackay, Chris Hunnam, Chris Doyle

Properties Emma Heggie, Suzanne Connor, Jo Slee

Lighting team Andrew Kendon, Mel Pugsley, Roger Blackmore Daniel Cousins, Philip Mellor

Make up team Diana Mackay, Deborah Kendon, Jan Sheppeard Maggie Lavin, Lesley Williams, Katrina Cooper

Prompt Sarah Boon

Publicity & marketing Dee Wormald

Front of house & sales Trish James, Michael Cook & Team

Box office Cheryl Cook & Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *