The Lyric Theatre presents Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare’s classic story of two star-crossed lovers and their feuding families, Sat 4 Feb—Sun 5 Mar 2023. The cast of 16 will be directed by Philip Crawford with Adam Gillian as Romeo and Emma Dougan as Juliet.
Romeo Montague is completely obsessed with Rosaline, but his love is unrequited. At a party, he falls head-over-heels in love with the hosts’ daughter, Juliet Capulet. This time, his love is reciprocated. But their love-story isn’t easy. Their families are arch-rivals in the city of Verona and if their relationship is to flourish, secrecy is vital. But the odds are stacked against them, and the pair embark on a journey which ends in consequences far beyond their worst fears.
This contemporary setting of the story, with Shakespeare’s original text, takes audiences to Verona summer of 2022 in the world of Italian high fashion, with Lady Montague and Lady Capulet propelled to the forefront as the leading designers for two rival fashion houses.
The play has been adapted by dramaturg Dr Anne Bailie to create a fresh and modern version of this classic tale.
The love story between Romeo and Juliet and the rivalry between the families, the Montagues and Capulets, is well known to many and remains a key part of the story.
The Lyric production will also subtly highlight themes from the play that resonate strongly with young people today: relationships, mental health issues and the tragic decision of the young lovers to take their own lives. The production will be accompanied by workshops, designed in conjunction with a number of relevant local charities, in schools and youth groups to further discuss and provide support on these issues.
Jimmy Fay, Executive Producer Lyric Theatre, said:
"We are delighted to open 2023 with Shakespeare’s classic story Romeo and Juliet. Directed by the brilliant Philip Crawford, who recently picked up a UK Theatre Award for his work in our creative learning department, we are delighted to welcome such a wealth of talent onto our stage. While love is at the core of the play, this production presents an opportunity to explore the range of themes affecting young people today which we are committed to doing through our outreach programme.”
Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:
“The Arts Council is delighted to support the Lyric Theatre’s production of this Shakespeare classic which has been given a fresh and exciting update for audiences in 2023. It’s also heartening to see the Lyric partner up with schools and charities to shine a light on and create open discussion around some of the more challenging themes in the play. I would encourage everyone to go along and enjoy!”
Director of Romeo and Juliet, Philip Crawford added:
“I was very keen to direct a production of this classic text to which audiences – and in particular, young audiences – could easily relate. You don’t need to be an academic to enjoy Shakespeare; he writes terrific stories with well-drawn characters engaged in gripping plots. I hope our audiences will agree when they see the show.”
Tickets for Romeo and Juliet start from £12 and are available to book now on www.lyrictheatre.co.uk.
The Lyric Theatre is supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery funding and Belfast City Council.