Feuding families, star-crossed lovers and a whole lot of tragedy. As Oakham School gets ready to perform the stunning tale of Romeo and Juliet, we spoke to some of the cast behind the scenes to get their insight into the production.
Middle School actors are taking centre stage at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from Tuesday 10 to Friday 13 May, and the cast has revealed that audiences can expect to see a modern twist on the much-loved classic tale.
Form 3 and 4 pupils Olivia, Adam, Esther and Eloise have all shared a behind the scenes look at what can be expected from the performance and told us more about the characters they are playing.
Olivia: Playing Juliet
Taking on the lead role of Juliet is Olivia. She said: “Juliet is a passionate, headstrong, and partly naive character who goes through an emotional rollercoaster throughout the play. Although she is a strong-willed character her decisions are heavily influenced by her father.”
“The rehearsals have gone very smoothly and at the moment there is a lot of adrenaline buzzing around backstage in anticipation for the upcoming show. The audience can expect an exciting twist on an all-time classic.”
Adam: Playing Tybalt
Adam, who plays Tybalt, is looking forward to taking on the strong-willed character who is always looking for conflict.
He said: “My character is very aggressive and starts lots of fights during the story. The whole tragedy revolves around him as he is the one creating the conflict. I’m excited for the performances and love the set of the production - I think it’s awesome and the scaffolding makes it better for me.”
“The rehearsals have gone well. The cast are friendly it feels like one big family - we all feel safe around each other.”
“The audience can expect a lot of tragedy and tension with fight scenes and arguments. As well as this they can expect a lot of emotion during some death scenes.”
Esther: Playing Mercutio
Esther is playing the role of Mercutio, who she describes as a funny character with a good sense of humour. “My favourite thing about the production is the way we play around with our characters and really make it our own. The set is unique and really makes the production look fantastic.”
“My favourite scene is Act 3 scene 1, where my character encounters a very scary character called Tybalt, I won't give away too much, but it is certainly very exciting.”
“Hearing that we have rehearsals is always the highlight of my week. We all get along really well, and we are all close like a massive Drama family. You can expect lots of laughs, a few tears and maybe gut-wrenching heartbreak whilst watching the show, but nonetheless, you’ll have a good time!
Eloise: Playing Lady Capulet
Eloise will be playing Juliet’s mother, Lady Capulet. She said: “Although my character is technically controlled by her husband since that was the culture, I consider her to be a strong-willed woman. She has always been distant from her daughter but after Juliet’s death, she realises how much she meant to her.”
“I think the set itself, which is a vast scaffolding structure, is amazing to perform on. Playing on different levels has been such a good challenge and I think it has developed all of us as actors. Rehearsals are my favourite part of my day.”
“One of my absolute favourite scenes is before the story starts. We set the scene for the audience by simply standing on stage in character as the they take their seats. It provides such an atmospheric feeling not just for the audience, but the actors as well and really helps us to get into character before performing. It has however proven quite difficult for some of us to stay still for ten minutes!”