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Romeo and Juliet

Plot Summary

A long-standing feud between the Montagues and the Capulets flares up in a brawl on the streets of Verona, halted only by the arrival of Prince Escalus. Romeo, only son of the Montagues, is hopelessly in love with the unattainable Rosaline. Attempting to shake him out of his melancholy, his friends Mercutio and Benvolio persuade him to go to a party at the Capulets' house. There he meets and falls instantly in love with Juliet, the Capulets' only daughter, and she with him.

With the help of Juliet's Nurse, they are secretly married the next day by Friar Laurence. Juliet's cousin Tybalt quarrels with Romeo and in the fight which ensues Mercutio is killed. Romeo avenges his friend's death and kills Tybalt, for which he is banished from Verona on pain of death. After spending a single night with his bride, he escapes to Mantua. Juliet learns that her parents plan to marry her to Count Paris. Distraught, she turns to Friar Laurence, who devises a plan. He gives her a drug which will make her appear to be dead. The intention is that her parents will place her in the family tomb and when she awakes from her drugged sleep, Romeo will be waiting to escape with her to Mantua. When Romeo returns to Verona, he believes her really to be dead and kills himself. Waking to find Romeo dead beside her, Juliet kills herself. The two families, united in grief, vow to end their feud.

RSC Staging History 1960-2007

1961 RST: Peter Hall
Sean Kenny (sets), Desmond Heeley (costumes); John Wyckham (lighting); Raymond Leppard (music); John Barton (fights)


Brian Murray (Romeo), Dorothy Tutin (Juliet), Ian Bannen (Mercutio), Peter McEnery (Tybalt), James Kerry (Benvolio), Edith Evans (Nurse), Max Adrian (Friar Lawrence), Newton Blick (Capulet), Cherry Morris (Lady Capulet), Michael Murray (Montague), Barry Warren (Paris), Tony Church (Chorus/Prince), Edith MaCarthur (Lady Montague), Gordon Gostelow (Apothecary), William Wallis (Potpan)

1967 RST: Karolos Koun
Timothy O'Brien (design); David Read (lighting); Guy Woolfenden (music); John Barton (fights)


Ian Holm (Romeo), Estelle Kohler (Juliet), Norman Rodway (Mercutio), Ian Hogg (Tybalt), David Weston (Benvolio), Elizabeth Spriggs (Nurse), Sebastian Shaw (Friar Lawrence), Nicholas Selby (Capulet), Sheila Allen (Lady Capulet), Hector Ross (Montague), John Bell (Paris), Michael Jayston (Chorus), Jeffery Dench (Prince), Clare Kelly (Lady Montague), Richard Moore (Peter), Alton Kumalo (Paris's Page), Bruce Myers (Servant), Helen Mirren, Don Henderson, Roger Lloyd Pack (Townspeople)

1973 RST: Terry Hands
Farrah (design); John Bradley (lighting); Ian Kellam (music)


Timothy Dalton (Romeo), Estelle Kohler (Juliet), Bernard Lloyd (Mercutio), David Suchet (Tybalt), Peter Machin (Benvolio), Beatrix Lehmann (Nurse), Tony Church (Friar Lawrence), Jeffery Dench (Capulet), Brenda Bruce (Lady Capulet), Richard Mayes (Montague), Anthony Pedley (Paris), Clement McCallin (Chorus/Prince), Janet Whiteside (Lady Montague), Brian Glover (Peter), Nickolas Grace (Balthasar), Denis Holmes (Old Capulet)

1976 RST/1977 Aldwych: Trevor Nunn with Barry Kyle
Chris Dyer (design); Clive Morris (lighting); Stephen Oliver (music)


Ian McKellen (Romeo), Francesca Annis (Juliet), Michael Pennington (Mercutio), Paul Shelley (Tybalt), Roger Rees (Benvolio), Marie Kean (Nurse), David Waller (Friar Lawrence), John Woodvine (Capulet), Barbara Shelley (Lady Capulet), Ivan Beavis (Montague), Richard Durden (Paris), John Bown (Chorus), Griffith Jones (Prince), Judith Harte (Lady Montague), Richard Griffiths (Peter), Greg Hicks (Balthasar), Duncan Preston (Abraham), Peter Woodward (Page), Dennis Clinton (Friar John), Pippa Guard, Susan Dury (Ladies)

1980 RST/1981 Aldwych: Ron Daniels
Ralph Koltai (design), Nadine Baylis (costumes); Mark Pritchard (lighting); Stephen Oliver (music)


Anton Lesser (Romeo), Judy Buxton (Juliet), Jonathan Hyde (Mercutio), Chris Hunter (Tybalt), Allan Hendrick (Benvolio), Brenda Bruce (Nurse), Edwin Richfield (Friar Lawrence), Trevor Baxter (Capulet), Barbara Kinghorn (Lady Capulet), Shay Gorman (Montague), Peter Settelen (Paris), Bruce Purchase (Prince), Eve Pearce (Lady Montague), Jimmy Gardner (Peter), Michael Siberry (Abraham)

1983 Small-scale Tour/1984 TOP: John Caird
Bob Crowley (design), Priscilla Truett (costumes); Brian Harris (lighting); Ilona Sekacz (music)


Daniel Day-Lewis/Simon Templeman (Romeo), Amanda Root (Juliet), Roger Allam (Mercutio/Apothecary), Andrew Hall (Tybalt), James Simmons (Benvolio), Polly James (Nurse), Frank Middlemass (Friar Lawrence), George Raistrick (Capulet), Penny Downie (Lady Capulet), Donald McKillop (Montague), Steven Pinner (Paris), Martin Jacobs (Prince), Susan Jane Tanner/Liz Moscrop (Lady Montague)

1986 RST/1987 Barbican: Michael Bogdanov
Chris Dyer (design), Ginny Humphreys (costumes); Chris Ellis (lighting); Hiroshi Sato (music)


Sean Bean (Romeo), Niamh Cusack (Juliet), Michael Kitchen (Mercutio), Hugh Quarshie (Tybalt), Martin Jacobs (Benvolio), Dilys Laye (Nurse), Robert Demeger (Friar Lawrence), Richard Moore (Capulet), Anna Nygh/Darlene Johnson (Lady Capulet), Roger Watkins (Montague), Robert Morgan (Paris), David Glover (Prince), Eileen Page (Lady Montague), Donald McBride (Peter), Cornelia Hayes, Jenni George, Lucy Hancock (Ladies)

1989 Swan/1989 Pit: Terry Hands
Farrah (design); Terry Hands (lighting); Claire Van Kampen (music)


Mark Rylance (Romeo), Georgia Slowe (Juliet), David O'Hara (Mercutio), Vincent Regan (Tybalt), Patrick Brennan (Benvolio), Margaret Courtenay (Nurse), Patrick Godfrey (Friar Lawrence), Bernard Horsfall (Capulet), Linda Spurrier (Lady Capulet), Michael Loughnan (Montague), Michael Howell (Paris), Rob Heyland (Prince), Katherine Stark (Lady Montague), Evan Russell (Peter), Ben Miles (Abraham/Friar John), Griffith Jones (Apothecary)

1991 RST/1992 Barbican: David Leveaux
Alison Chitty (design); Jean Kalman (lighting); Ilona Sekacz (music)


Michael Maloney (Romeo), Clare Holman (Juliet), Tim McInnerny (Mercutio), Sean Murray (Tybalt), Kevin Doyle (Benvolio), Sheila Reid (Nurse), Robert Langdon Lloyd (Friar Lawrence), Jonathan Newth (Capulet), Celia Gregory (Lady Capulet), Randal Herley (Montague), Valentine Pelka (Paris), Julian Glover (Chorus/Prince), Jan Shand (Lady Montague), Scott Ransome (Peter), Kenn Sabberton (Sampson), Emily Joyce (Citizen)

1995 RST/1996 Barbican: Adrian Noble
Kendra Ullyart (design); Hugh Vanstone (lighting); Shaun Davey (music)


Zubin Varla (Romeo), Lucy Whybrow (Juliet), Mark Lockyer (Mercutio), Dermot Kerrigan (Tybalt), Michael Gould (Benvolio), Susan Brown (Nurse), Julian Glover (Friar Lawrence), Christopher Benjamin (Capulet), Darlene Johnson (Lady Capulet), Jeffery Dench (Montague), Paul Bettany/Paul Hilton (Paris), Christopher Robbie (Chorus/Prince), Anita Wright (Lady Montague), Gary Taylor (Peter), Lisé Stevenson (Rosaline)

1997 Pit/1997-88 Swan/1998 Small-scale Tour: Michael Attenborough
Robert Jones (design); Tim Mitchell (lighting); Stephen Warbeck (music)


Ray Fearon (Romeo), Zoë Waites (Juliet), Chook Sibtain (Mercutio), Nigel Clauzel (Tybalt), Lawrence Wood (Benvolio), Sandra Voe (Nurse), Richard Cordery (Friar Lawrence), David Lyon (Capulet), Jan Chappell (Lady Capulet), Louis Mahoney (Montague/Friar John), Oliver Fox (Paris/Gregory), Neil Phillips (Chorus/Prince), Sandra Clark (Montague's Wife), Russell Layton (Peter/Sampson), Jack Tanner (Abraham), Amanda Perry-Smith (Helena), Jo Keating (Livia)

2000 RST/2001 Barbican: Michael Boyd
Tom Piper (design); Chris Davey (lighting); Stephen Warbeck (music)


David Tennant (Romeo), Alexandra Gilbreath (Juliet), Adrian Schiller (Mercutio), Keith Dunphy (Tybalt), Anthony Howell (Benvolio), Eileen McCallum (Nurse), Des McAleer (Friar Lawrence), Ian Hogg (Capulet), Caroline Harris (Lady Capulet), Vincent Brimble (Montague), Nicholas Kahn (Paris), Alfred Burke (Prince), Helen Weir (Lady Montague), Robert Goodale (Peter)

2004 RST/2004-05 Albery: Peter Gill
Simon Daw (set), Deirdre Clancy (costumes); Hartley T.A. Kemp (lighting); Terry Davies (music)


Matthew Rhys (Romeo), Siân Brooke (Juliet), Gideon Turner (Mercutio), Tam Mutu (Tybalt), Trystan Gravelle (Benvolio), June Watson (Nurse), John Normington (Friar Lawrence), David Hargreaves (Capulet), Emily Raymond (Lady Capulet), Sion Tudor Owen (Montague), Jonathan Forbes (Paris), Leo Wringer (Prince), Matt Cross (Peter), Anita Booth (Lady Montague), Samuel Clemens (Balthasar), Peter Bygott (Old Capulet/Apothecary), Caolan Byrne (Friar John), Anatol Yusef (Sampson), Edward Clarke (Gregory), Jessica Tomchak (Lady)

2006 RST (Complete Works Festival): Nancy Meckler
Katrina Lindsay (design); Neil Austin (lighting); Ilona Sekacz (music); John Leonard (sound); Liz Ranken (movement)


Rupert Evans (Romeo), Morven Christie (Juliet), Jamie Ballard (Mercutio), Adam Rayner (Tybalt), Geoffrey Lumb (Benvolio), Sorcha Cusack (Nurse), David Fielder (Friar Lawrence), Nicholas Day (Capulet), Caroline Wildi (Lady Capulet), Patrick Romer (Montague/Apothecary), Simon Bubb (Paris), Jonny Weir (Prince/Old Capulet), Sam O'Mahony-Adams (Peter), Eliza Hunt (Lady Montague), John Heffernan (Balthasar), Steven Beard (Friar John), Shane Frater (Sampson), Christopher Davies/Curtis Flowers (Abram), Amy Brown, Yvette Rochester-Duncan (Ensemble)

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