Iceland Romeo Flies at West End Playhouse, 18 NovDate: 27 October 2004
The Young Vic is making more than good on its ‘Walkabout’ promise to keep producing over the two years while its Southwark home is being refurbished (See News, 7 Jul 2004). Now, following its revival of Langston Hughes’ musical comedy Simply Heavenly, which opened to Trafalgar Studios on Monday night, its high-flying Romeo and Juliet will also transfer to the West End next month. It opens at the Playhouse Theatre on 18 November 2004 (previews from 13 November).
Inspired by the world of circus performance, the production - from Icelandic trapeze theatre company Artbox/Vesturport, explores the devotion of Shakespeare’s two young ‘star-cross’d lovers’ using aerial and acrobatic choreography. It’s billed as a “high-octane, part-romantic, part-clowning encounter”.
The Icelanders were invited to debut in the UK after Young Vic artistic director David Lan discovered them on a trip invited to Reykjavik. Their critically acclaimed production of Romeo and Juliet sold so quickly that two extra weeks of performances were added to the original London season at the Young Vic in autumn 2003.
Romeo and Juliet is adapted here by Gísli Örn Garðarsson, Tanya Ronder and Hallgrímur Helgason and directed by Gísli Örn Gardarson, who also plays Romeo. Others in the eight-strong Icelandic cast will also reprise their roles in the West End, including Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir as Juliet and Björn Hlynur Haraldsson as Mercutio.
The production is designed by Börkur Jonsson with lighting by Tim Mitchell, Costumes by Thorunn E Sveinsdottir and sound by Karl Olgeirsson. It’s presented in the West End by the Ambassadors Theatre Group, Maidstone Productions, Robert Bartner and Gotti Sigurdarson. The West End transfer of Romeo and Juliet means that a planned New York season this autumn has now been postponed (See News, 7 Jul 2004).
- by Terri Paddock