Bare Cheek Theatre Company is staging a very unusual production in the Opera House next month, Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo + Juliet’….
It is one of the oldest and most frequently performed plays in the English canon – boy meets girl, they fall in love and their three-day affair ends with five bodies in the ground, including their own. Except, in this production, it’s girl meets girl as Romeo and Juliet are both played by young female actors.
Shakespeare’s visceral tale of feuding families and teenage urgency, arguably his most well-known, has endured as a classic for over 400 years, and now Bare Cheek presents their new queer, passionate and screwed take on it.
This production features a cast of well-known, experienced and seasoned local actors coupled with the exuberant and talented young performers of Bare Cheek’s Youth Theatre.
With Emma O’Leary as Romeo and Aisling Murphy as Juliet, this production explores the extremes of emotion the young lovers are experiencing for the first time. Where stabbings and poison are daily dangers in their divided society, gang violence continues to carve a deathly path through the lives of their community and bring the play right into our contemporary world. Their illicit passion exacerbates the age-old animosity between their families; cleaving apart their world, turning romance to tragedy, intolerance to heartbreak.
Ronan P Byrne plays Juliet’s conniving father, Lord Capulet with Lauren Clancy as Lady Capulet. Juliet’s Nurse is played by Catherine Walsh and the Friar by Tony Brennan. Karen Hartigan plays Romeo’s mother, the recently widowed Lady Montague.
Speaking to Wexford Weekly, director Tony McCleane-Fay stated that:
“It’s great having the older cast members working with the younger ones, I think they inspire each other! We’ve produced a lot of Shakespeare down through the years, but this show is particularly unique as we feature a gay relationship at the core of the story, and all of the other roles have been cast gender-blind. It’s very contemporary in its staging, yet we have held onto Shakespeare’s language, which the cast absolutely love! It’s also lovely to be working back in the Opera House again, we can’t wait!,” he said.
It’ll take place in the National Opera House on from December 1st to December 4th at 8pm and tickets are already on sale via the Opera House website which cost €20 euro, or €15 for concession tickets.
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