Romeo and Juliet (2019)
“Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied/And vice sometimes by action dignified/Within the infant rind of this small flower/Poison hath residence and medicine power”
ThirdSpace Theatre (then Windmill Young Actors), in partnership with BYC, presented Romeo and Juliet in Hollingdean Skatepark, at the time our most ambitious and creatively challenging production ever!
The show featured over 80 performers
Anthony Mkandawire as the Prince, opening the play with his classic and brutal monologue to the two gangs
Brighton Source described it as “the kind of theatre we’ve always dreamed about but never dared to ask for”. Pushing our creative skills to the limit, we devised new script and reconceptualised classic text to fit the visceral and genuine location of Hollingdean Skatepark.
Skate and youth culture formed the backbone of the play, shaping a Romeo and Juliet that was relevant in the modern day
Director Tanushka Marah sought with the show “to involve children who might not otherwise come to drama – and from different parts of town.” Breaking down the cultural assumptions about Shakespeare in the 21st century was a key goal of the production; we created a story that wasn’t from the 16th century anymore, but instead captured the true zeitgeist of what it means to be a young person today. Instead of focussing on the past and the world Shakespeare wrote from like so many do, the play wasn’t just aesthetically modern but genuinely so, with narration, verbatim text, rap, and poetry all written by young people. Our cast was made up of queer, neuro-divergent, and ethnically diverse young people expressing their lived experiences on stage.
Local young rap artist Marshall Mandiangu performed songs throughout, acting as a Musical Narrator for the story.
You can watch excerpts of the show below, in a trailer made from the performance.