For theatre... online, non-professional, amateur
Juliet and Romeo

Juliet and Romeo

Intermission Youth Theatre presents one of the most famous love stories ever written in this unique re-imagining which premieres next month in London with the support of Sir Mark Rylance and a host of Hollywood heavyweights. This tale of feuding families and doomed romance transposes the star-crossed lovers’ lines – in a Shakespeare first – giving audiences a fresh lens in which to view this iconic tragedy.

Set in present-day London where the streets are tense with the global pandemic and the BLM movement, Juliet & Romeo interweaves 400-year-old verse with urban dialogue to give new relevance to the Shakespeare cannon. This new production follows on from the renowned theatre company’s previous critically acclaimed Shakespeare re-imaginings (Excluded, 2019) and (Othello: Remixed, 2018) and their collaborations with Shakespeare’s Globe (Shakespeare’s Walks and Shakespeare within the Abbey, 2018).

Intermission Youth’s Artistic Director Darren Raymond says: “Transposing all of Juliet’s lines with Romeo’s and vice versa does something really interesting to this ancient text and brings fresh insight into this story with its themes of love, revenge, relationships and what it means to be a woman in this world.”

Mark Rylance, Intermission Youth’s trustee comments: “There is so much dissection and political pressure around Shakespeare these days, I find it hard sometimes to connect with my old love for the plays themselves. But when I listen to the sincere vital playing of the young actors of Intermission Youth my love is reborn and I feel that old bard magic – that wonderful connection with the emotions and imagination of the genius of Shakespeare.”

On this production, he adds: “The gender change is a revelation and works beautifully. Only young people can do justice to Romeo and Juliet. Prepare to be moved to laughter and tears. This is authentic stuff.”

Rylance and a host of Hollywood stars including Whoopi Goldberg, Daniel Kaluuya, Andrew Garfield and David Oyelowo held masterclasses with Intermission’s cohort of young actors who have been cast in Juliet & Romeo. The 10-month drama programme uses theatre and Shakespeare to engage young people lacking in opportunity from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.  The exclusive online sessions with the stars were held during the pandemic and gave the young actors invaluable insights, hope and advice on how best to navigate the industry as young artists from diverse backgrounds.

Juliet & Romeo will have a 4 week run from 10 November to 4 December. This will be the first Intermission Youth Theatre show staged in two years and The Chelsea Theatre’s inaugural long-run production since its major renovation and relaunch in early 2020.

Intermission Youth Theatre has been creating reimagined Shakespeare plays since 2008, exploring the Bard’s work through the eyes of a diverse company. This renowned organisation has a long-standing association with the RSC and Shakespeare’s Globe. Since inception, IYT has engaged with well over 6,000 young people across the UK through its programmes in schools, pupil referral units, young offender institutions and prisons. IYT Patrons also include Naomie Harris. Intermission Youth Theatre alumni include EastEnders regular Stevie Basaula, Dr Who’s Tosin Cole who is currently filming a series on the US.