Pupils in special performance of Romeo and Juliet with Royal Shakespeare Company

Pupils will perform alongside actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in a 90-minute, adrenaline-charged production of Romeo & Juliet at Skegness Junior Academy next week.
Skegness Junior Academy pupils will perform alongside actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).Skegness Junior Academy pupils will perform alongside actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).
Skegness Junior Academy pupils will perform alongside actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The latest in the RSC’s series of First Encounters with Shakespeare productions aimed at new and younger audiences, the show will be directed by Trybe House Theatre Artistic Director, Philip J Morris.

Performed in Shakespeare’s original language, the show uses an abridged version of the script edited by Dramaturg, Robin Belfield.

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Young people from Skegness Junior Academy, will also have a number of opportunities to get involved in the production.

In a reworking of the Prince of Verona’s role, ten young people from Year 4 at Skegness Junior Academy will perform as members of a Prince’s counsel alongside the professional RSC actors. Together, the Prince and his counsel, will attempt to restore the peace whilst representing what might happen if young people were also the decision makers.

The production on Tuesday, April.23, is part of a 12-week nationwide tour of schools and regional theatres.

Introducing a new Verona with a nod to old Italy, the modern-day costume and shape-shifting scenery will provide a dynamic, contemporary backdrop for the action.

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After a chance meeting at a gate-crashed party brings Romeo and Juliet together, the world around them melts away. Then, as they come to realise that a long-standing feud between their two families means they will never be allowed to stay together, they hatch a plan to escape the lives they were born to with tragic consequences.

Exploring the pressures of time, conformity and the intensity of adolescence, Morris’s production examines themes of innocence, indoctrination and ignorance.

Following the success of last year’s sell-out First Encounters tour of Twelfth Night, First Encounters: Romeo & Juliet brings Shakespeare’s star cross’d lovers up to date for a new generation of theatregoers.

Commenting on the production, Head of School, Mr Jacklin, explained: “I'm thrilled that our children at Skegness Junior Academy will get to experience the upcoming RSC performance of Romeo and Juliet! It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our children to be involved in the timeless tale of love and tragedy brought to life on stage by the RSC.”

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Commenting on the production, Director, Philip J Morris, said: “As relevant today as it was 400 years ago. the play’s enduring appeal lies in its subject matter; from the intoxication of first love to the tension between misguided allegiances and rebellion.

"The impulse of youth and pressure to choose sides leads to a senseless loss of life that is a familiar narrative today with knife-crime on the rise and record numbers of young people seeking support for their mental health.

"These are some of the most challenging but persistent issues of our time and we hope that our production can help shine a light on the need to engage in difficult but urgent conversations.”

The show’s creative team includes Philip J Morris (Director), Ebrahim Nazier (Designer), Vicki Igokwe-Ozoagu (Movement) Bethan Clark (Fights) and Robin Belfield (Dramaturg).

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Tickets are available from Skegness Junior Academy office costing £3 per ticket. The academy office is open between 9am and 3pm until Friday April 19. Ticketing information is also be updated via the RSC’s website www.rsc.org.uk.

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