A co-production between Kings Theatre Portsmouth and Teatro Nuovo-Verona, Teatro Stabile Veneto
The Kings Theatre Portsmouth and Teatro Nuovo-Verona, Teatro Stabile Veneto are once again joining forces to bring Italian and English Language productions of the most famous romantic tragedy ever written, Romeo and Juliet, to its original setting.
This production of Romeo and Juliet features three cast members (and a narrator), including ALRA's third year student Grant Reeves, performing the play’s greatest scenes in some of Verona’s most beautiful locations including Juliet’s courtyard, the Cortile Ex Tribunale, the Cortile Mercato Vecchio and Teatro Nuovo.
The interactive promenade productions invites the audience to dance alongside Romeo and Juliet as they fall in love, be a witness at their secret marriage, to take part in the tragic fight that leads to Tybalt’s death and to weep at Romeo and Juliet’s poignant final moments together.
David Cooper, Chief Executive of the Kings Theatre, was keen to find recent graduates to take on the iconic roles of the Romeo and Juliet.
About the casting choices he said: “We were so lucky with the three young actors that we cast last year, all three were fresh from drama school, and did us proud. With Joe returning for a second year, this time we were looking for Romeo and Juliet and we’re delighted to have found Grant and Stephanie.”
Grant Reeves has been cast as Romeo. He will be graduating from ALRA's three-year BA (Hons) in Acting course this summer.
Grant reacted to the news and said:
“It was an overwhelming feeling to be cast as Romeo. I couldn't quite believe it. I think it’s every young actors dream to play this role, I mean it must be up there with wanting to become an astronaut. I am honoured and privileged to play such an outstanding universal character.
I have never played Romeo before, but now get to play Romeo where Shakespeare envisaged! What more could anyone ask for. I'm blessed.”
Joe Parker is returning in the demanding and complex suite of roles which sees him switching from Mercutio to Friar Laurence from the Prince of Verona to Lord Capulet at a moment’s notice in full-view of the audience. He’s role as co-narrator also encourages the majority of the audience participation.
He was cast at the auditions held at the Kings Theatre for the inaugural 2015 production, and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Acting from Guildford School of Acting just before heading off to Italy in July 2015.
About last year's experience, Joe said:
"Last summer playing Mercutio in the first ever English language production of Romeo and Juliet to be staged at the balcony was a truly special event in my life and career. I am overjoyed after being asked to reprise my role this year and I'm looking forward to working with the Teatro Stabile Verona again."
Stephanie Dickson has been cast as Juliet. She grew up in Emsworth on the South Coast, and studied English Literature, History, Drama and Theatre Studies and then Advanced Drama at South Downs College in Waterlooville, before studying a 3 Year BA (Hons) Degree in Acting at the Guildford School of Acting.
She will be missing her graduation in July, as she will be starring as Juliet in Verona.
About her new role as Juliet, Stephanie said:
“I am completely thrilled to be cast as Juliet. It is the dream role for any young actress and it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for an actor, not only to play Juliet, but also to be able to do so in Verona itself!
I am so looking forward to being able to bring the character to life in the place where it was set by Shakespeare himself, and to be surrounded by the incredible sights such as Juliet's balcony and her statue. I am honestly still in shock and completely overjoyed - I can't wait to start!”
Paolo Valerio, the Artistic Director of Teatro Nuovo-Verona, was so impressed by the young actors cast in 2015 that this year he has extended the English language performances, which are now running for 10 weeks of the three month run.
The English language production runs from 11 July – 17 September 2016. The Italian cast of established theatre actors will be performing in Italian from 27 June - 9 July and from 19 - 29 September.
For further information about this international project visit www.kingsportsmouth.co.uk