The Wellesley Cinema’s LIVE transmissions bring Kenneth Branagh’s production of Shakespeare’s powerful tragedy of ‘star-crossed lovers’ to Wellington on Thursday 7 July at 7.00pm.
This production – one of Branagh’s year-long series at London’s Garrick Theatre which marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death – stars Lily James as Juliet. She will be remembered for her role as Natasha in the BBC’s recent screening of Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ and as Lady Rose in ‘Downton Abbey’. Her performance as Juliet has been universally praised as “truly teenage” and “unusually fresh and credible”.
Richard Madden (Robb Stark in ‘Game of Thrones’ and alluring gamekeeper Mellors in the TV adaptation of D H Lawrence’s ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’) plays Romeo, reuniting him with James with whom he starred in Branagh’s recent remarkable reworked film version of ‘Cinderella’.
In what critics have called “inspired casting” Branagh has chosen Derek Jacobi, one of the stage’s most celebrated classical actors, to play the role of Mercutio. In doing so he challenges the conventional belief that Mercutio and Romeo are from the same youthful generation. Critics have praised Jacobi’s performance as delivering “a show of his own.” which parodies the idea of young blood and heady, dangerous passion.
Meera Syal plays the role of the Nurse whose final betrayal of Juliet leads directly to the final tragic outcome for the young lovers.
This is a ‘modern dress’ production in the setting of 1950‘s Verona. Recreating the city’s Italianate sandstone architecture and Mediterranean light has been praised for proving a setting full of ‘pulsating energy’.
Tickets for ‘Romeo and Juliet’ can be booked online from The Wellesley Cinema’s website.