Hellesdon High School

Royal Shakespeare Company presents First Encounters: Romeo & Juliet

Pupils from Hellesdon High School perform in Royal Shakespeare company’s tour of Romeo & Juliet

Thursday 15th February 2024, Hellesdon High School, 19:00-20:30

Pupils from Hellesdon High will perform alongside actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) when its 90-minute, adrenaline-charged production of Romeo & Juliet visits Norwich on Thursday 15th February 2024.

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.

Young people from Hellesdon High 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 across Norwich 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 is part of a 12-week nationwide tour of schools and regional theatres which opens in Leamington Spa on Monday 29 January. The show will then move onto Northampton, Corby, Leicester, Norwich, Cornwall, Bradford, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Hull, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Skegness before culminating in Peterborough on the 26 April 2024.

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. 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. 

Tom Rolfe, Principal of Hellesdon High School said:

"We are delighted that we have been fortunate enough to bring the RSC Romeo and Juliet production to Norwich and specifically to Hellesdon High School. Our sixth form students involved in the cast are working hard ahead of the show and we are excited to see the final production. Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet but the opportunity to see it performed live, really is too good to miss."

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).

Entry is FREE, but tickets MUST be booked.  To reserve your place, please click the link below: