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ROMEO & JULIET

Guildford Shakespeare Company

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ROMEO & JULIET 3 - 24 February 2018

The award-winning* Guildford Shakespeare Company open 2018 with a site-responsive production of Shakespeare’s ROMEO & JULIET, featuring HARRIET THORPE as the Nurse, staged in Surrey’s largest Georgian church, Holy Trinity Guildford.

HARRIET THORPE is one of Britain's best loved actresses, best known for her roles in ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, THE BRITTAS EMPIRE, FRENCH & SAUNDERS, THE COMIC STRIP, and feature films CALENDAR GIRLS and AB FAB THE MOVIE. Her theatre credits include West End hits WICKED and MAMMA MIA!, as well as numerous appearances at THE NATIONAL THEATRE, most recently in Richard Bean’s GREAT BRITAIN.

GSC, now in their 12th year, specialise in creating visceral and immersive theatre experiences in non-theatre venues. “The nurturing of new audiences for Shakespeare is at the core of our work” continued Co-Founder Matt Pinches, “and this production will be absolutely perfect for that, whether they are young or old; whilst still giving seasoned theatre-goers a very special version of this powerful story”.

Embracing the same period as the church itself (completed in 1764), this production will highlight the beauty of the church’s architecture, bringing the impact of Holy Trinity’s ecclesiastical spirit to the forefront: accentuating the play’s themes of duty, passion and sacrifice. The black and gold Victorian Rood-Screen will be utilised to create Georgian-style cameos whilst also providing the perfect framing for Juliet’s candle lit tomb in front of the alter.

The late-Georgian period was a time when women were beginning to find their own voices in a male-dominated world, with inspirational figures such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen and Mary Shelley rising to prominence. “Juliet’s determination to find her own happiness amidst a family dominated by her father, and the strict moral codes of upper-class society, will be given a very powerful voice with this particular setting”.
The title roles will be played RICKY OAKLEY and LUCY PEARSON. Lucy last worked with the company in 2015, playing Alice in their promenade production of Alice in Wonderland, staged to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the book’s publication, and Guildford’s links to Lewis Carroll.

Director/Designer team CHARLOTTE CONQUEST (NATIONAL THEATRE, SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE) and NEIL IRISH (ENO, OPERA HOLLAND PARK, WATERMILL THEATRE) return to the company following their recent collaboration on GSC’s summer 5 STAR The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Joining them are MATT EATON (Sound Designer) and PETER HARRISON (Lighting). Original choral music is composed by MARY MCADAM.

For more information visit >>> www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk