Theatre in Wales

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Wales Millennium Centre and Omidaze Productions combine politics and tragedy in new Romeo and Juliet     

Wales Millennium Centre and Omidaze Productions combine politics and tragedy in new Romeo and Juliet Wales Millennium Centre and Omidaze Productions present the third and final part of their Shakespeare trilogy in a new ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This co-production pairs the well-loved tragedy with aerial circus alongside a series of workshops to explore power and explain our parliamentary systems to schoolchildren.

Set against a backdrop of conflict, civil disturbance and prejudice in present British society, this timeless production tells a story of young people betrayed by a fractured society leading to tragic consequences.
In keeping with the play’s central theme of overcoming societal barriers, this inclusive version uses unconventional staging to encourage audiences to move and explore the set, allowing them to experience the drama up close and be absorbed in the story.
Following acclaimed all-female productions of ‘Richard III’ and ‘Henry VI’ in 2015 and 2016, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will feature a mixed, gender-blind and colour-blind cast, directed by Omidaze Productions’ Artistic Director and Wales Millennium Centre Associate Artist Yvonne Murphy, with circus choreography and movement direction by Paul Evans, Associate Artist of NoFitState Circus.
Aamira Challenger, a graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, makes her professional debut as Juliet beside Connor Allen (‘Bird’, Sherman Theatre) as Romeo. Completing the ensemble are Gemma Creasey, Hannah O'Leary, Kayed Mohammed-Mason and Salim Sai.
Open Rehearsals across Wales have seen the company sharing their rehearsal process with school students aged 7+ and a series of educational workshops will continue into the Summer Term, taking primary and secondary students on an interactive tour of the UK and Welsh parliaments empowering them with understanding of modern politics, power and Shakespeare.
Omidaze’s two main partners have worked extensively with outreach teams from the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, the English Shakespeare Company and the Shakespeare Schools Festival. The accompanying educational work is fundamental to making ‘Romeo and Juliet’ accessible to all.
Wales Millennium Centre’s Artistic Director Graeme Farrow says: “Taking accessible and important work outside of Cardiff is vital to the Centre’s identity as the national arts centre for Wales. It is so important that we take the cultural experiences that we nurture in our building beyond our walls to inspire and provoke conversation across our whole nation. We’ve been very privileged to work once again with Yvonne and the Omidaze team, this year bringing our Shakespearean circus carnival down from the Roof Void and into the Weston Studio. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is sure to be another impactful explosion of drama and spectacle”
Director Yvonne Murphy says: “In June 2016 I watched our country become divided. I knew at the time I was planning a tour where Omidaze would come into contact with hundreds of young people across Wales. I thought if that is going to happen then I want to empower them because they are our hope. ‘Romeo & Juliet’ is not just a love story. It is a moral tale of great magnitude. It is a story of a broken and fractured society where two young people die needlessly because of a lack of tolerance and inclusion. I know that young people will understand why I have chosen this text. I fundamentally believe people must be given knowledge of and access to the power structures within our society and feel empowered to influence them for the good of that society.”
‘Romeo and Juliet’ is on tour from Wednesday 5 April – Sunday 14 May 2017.
Listings information
5-8 April – Theatr Clwyd, Mold
12 April – Ffwrnes, Llanelli
23 April – Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon
27 April-14 May – Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
web site
Elin Rees
Tuesday, April 18, 2017back



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