The Royal Shakespeare Company and Theatre Royal Glasgow have confirmed local casting for Romeo and Juliet which is to run at Theatre Royal, Glasgow next month as part of a UK tour.
Two groups of four young people from Glasgow and the surrounding area will join the professional cast to share the role of the Chorus from Tuesday 19-Saturday 23 March.
Joining Bally Gill (Romeo) and Karen Fishwick (Juliet) will be: Mairi McLeod, 14, Cumbernauld; Millie Walker, 16, Largs; Annie O’Dell, 15, Jordanhill; Josh Ennis, 13, Largs; Matthew Don, 16, Clydebank; Eve Wengel, 16, Uplawmoor; Lilah Cowen, 14, Giffnock; and Zoe McInnes, 13, Paisley.
Erica Whyman, the production’s director, said: ‘In 2016 we brought my production of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation to Glasgow, and it involved a number of local school children.
‘We were bowled over by the impact the 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 selected to perform in Romeo and Juliet were selected from attendees of Theatre Royal’s drama workshops. Those who enrolled on the Young Theatre Royal course were invited to complete an application form and prepare a talk under the subject ‘I’d love this opportunity because…’
They then attended a workshop session where they worked on some themes from the show and presented their talk to the group. Based on selection criteria provided by the RSC, focussing on providing opportunities and building confidence, the eight young performers were chosen. Prior experience was not necessary.
Alison Cowan, creative learning and community partnerships manager at Theatre Royal, said: ‘It was an honour to have the opportunity to invite our Young Theatre Royal participants to audition to be part of the cast in the RSC’s Romeo and Juliet. I’m confident that this will be a very enriching experience as they take part in the telling of this classic tale alongside one of the UKs most prestigious theatre companies.’
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 Theatre Royal before they face an audience for their public performances.
Bally Gill’s previous credits for the RSC include Coriolanus, Salome, Vice Versa, Always Orange and Fall of the Kingdom. His other credits include The Island Nation (Arcola Theatre), A Local Boy (The Arts Theatre), Dinner with Saddam (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Bureau of Lost Things (Theatre 503) and NW (BBC/Mammoth Screen).
Karen Fishwick, who comes from Glasgow, makes her RSC debut. She most recently appeared in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (National Theatre of Scotland/Live Theatre). Her other credits include Glasgow Girls (NTS/Citizens), Hansel and Gretel (Citizens Theatre), The Caucasian Chalk Circle, A Christmas Carol (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh), Badults (BBC Three), James Kirk’s Comedy Blaps, The Illuminati (The Comedy Unit) and Tides and Telegrams (for The Winter Tradition).
The cast also includes: Afolabi Alli (Paris); Donna Banya (Gregory); Stevie Basaula (Sampson); Katy Brittain (Friar John/Apothecary); Raif Clarke (Peter); Beth Cordingly (Escalus); Paul Dodds (Montague); Josh Finan (Benvolio); Andrew French (Friar Laurence); Mariam Haque (Lady Capulet); Michael Hodgson (Capulet); John Macaulay (Cousin Capulet); Tom Padley (Balthasar); Sakuntala Ramanee (Lady Montague) and Nima Taleghani (Abraham).
Directed by RSC deputy artistic director, Erica Whyman, the production is designed by Tom Piper with lighting by Charles Balfour and sound by Jeremy Dunn. Music is by Sophie Cotton and movement by Ayse Tashkiran.
For tickets click HERE.