Romeo and Juliet

July 7, 2019

The touring theatre company Heartbreak Productions returned to Brancepeth Castle on 3rd July with their own take on Romeo and Juliet.

Imagine how the play might look if it had been written for the 21st century - the Capulets and Montagues become notorious celebrity families, they play out their feud in the full glare of social media, Benvolio is a gangster rapper and Friar Lawrence is a dubious mystic guru to the stars. Even the programme was a Hello-style magazine!

Despite the modern makeover Shakespeare’s 16th century text was never far away, and the scenes between Romeo and Juliet in particular kept faithfully to the original verse. In between, the plot was carried forward with some clever re-writing to bring it right up to date.

There were plenty of laughs, not least from the performance of the nurse, together with an undercurrent of gang violence that led to the final tragedy. The contemporary setting really brought the play to life and appealed across the generations.

We hope to see the company back again next year and look forward to what they might dream up.