The production features eight young people from St. Teilo’s Church in Wales High School who will share the role of the Chorus with the professional cast include: Sophie Budd (15), Chelsea Graham (14), Harleigh Grey (14), Rosie Griffiths (14), Harry Holley (15), Imogen Lightfield (14) and Hina Malik (14).
Romeo and Juliet is directed by RSC Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman who said: “In 2016 we visited the New Theatre with my production of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation, which featured a number of local school children. We were completely bowled over by the impact this production had on the young people who took part and those who came to watch. I want to build on that hugely positive experience, as we stage Romeo and Juliet, opening up a dialogue with young people in schools in ways we have never before been able to do. By inviting these young people to join us on stage I want to celebrate the diverse talent of the UK and highlight the revolutionary heart of this most timeless love story.”
The young people will take part in two rehearsals with members of the RSC’s Education team and the Romeo and Juliet creative team. Then, during the week of the RSC’s visit, they will join the professional acting company for a rehearsal on the stage of the New Theatre, before they face an audience for their public performances.
“As well as this onstage opportunity for eight young people, we’ve organised a training day for teachers, and in-school workshops. This is all part of the Welsh Government and Arts Council Wales’ Creative Learning through the arts scheme. Arts Active has a remit to create opportunities for Welsh students to learn creatively and to support teachers in delivering more activity like this ahead of the changes in the curriculum that take place from 2020. The RSC’s production of Romeo and Juliet is a great example of how Shakespeare can be made accessible and relevant to young people and we want to encourage more schools to collaborate with arts and cultural organisations in this way – it’s a brilliant way to engage students and it means a fresh approach is taken with the curriculum.”
The cast of Romeo and Juliet includes Bally Gill’s as Romeo, whose previous credits for the RSC include Coriolanus, Salome, Vice Versa, Always Orange and Fall of the Kingdom, and Karen Fishwick as Juliet in her RSC debut.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet plays at the New Theatre from Tuesday 5 until Saturday 9 March 2019. Tickets are available from the Box Office on (029) 2087 8889 and newtheatrecardiff.co.uk.