GARRICK THEATRE – Shakespeare’s classic romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet will play at the Garrick Theatre from May 2016 as part of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season. Richard Madden and Lily James will play the star-crossed lovers, alongside Derek Jacobi as the hot-tempered Mercutio. Kenneth Branagh will direct this production, which will be the fourth to appear in his much-anticipated collection of shows at the Garrick.
Romeo and Juliet will reunite James and Madden, who played Cinderella and Prince Charming in Branagh’s 2015 film Cinderella. Madden is best known for his performance as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones and his recent appearance in BBC One’s drama Lady Chatterley’s Lover. James made her name as Lady Rose in Downton Abbey and has played in a variety of stage productions. Associate director Rob Ashford and designer Christopher Oram will also be involved in this production.
A heart-breaking tale of young love, Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s most famous works and is regularly performed across the world. It tells the tale of two families locked in a feud, the Capulets and the Montagues. Romeo is the hot-blooded son of the Montagues, and Juliet the beautiful teenage daughter of the Capulets. After meeting at a masquerade ball, the pair fall instantly in love but their forbidden coupling has devastating and fatal consequences.
It has been commented that the choice of stage and screen veteran Derek Jacobi as the young, hot-tempered Mercutio will challenge the standard view of the playing age of Shakespeare characters. In a time where gender is constantly challenged within Shakespeare productions, such as an all-female Titus Andronicus, it will be very interesting to see the effects of playing with the age of the characters.
Romeo and Juliet promises to be a wonderful piece of theatre and will run at the Garrick Theatre from May 12th 2016 to August 13th 2016. (source)