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Oxford Shakespeare Brings Rock R&J to Gray’s Inn

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Open-air site-specific bard specialists Oxford Shakespeare Company (OSC) next week bring their new “rock ‘n’ roll” production of Romeo and Juliet to London’s Gray’s Inn, where it will be performed for four performances only on The Walks outside the famous inns of court, before returning to its home venue in the Walled Garden at Wadham College Oxford, where it runs from 26 June to 22 August 2009 (See News, 11 Jul 2006).

Rather than the ill-fated 16th-century version of Romeo and Juliet, OSC takes a leaf out of Baz Luhrmann’s book by updating the action to the 20th century and turning it into a “guitar-wielding, heart-pounding” modern love story. Loosely set in Oxford at the “end of austerity” in Britain, with birth control and rock music changes afoot, in this version, Romeo is a musician, besides their respective families, the only thing that keeping him apart from Juliet is the high walls of the college.

Romeo and Juliet is directed by Guy Retallack, who recently directed the premiere of Glyn Maxwell’s Liberty at Shakespeare’s Globe and whose other credits include The Secret Rapture, Faster, This Story of Yours and More Lies About Jerzy. Musical direction is by Paul Kissan.

The production is mounted at Gray’s Inn care of London’s Pleasance Theatre, with tickets priced at £25 available on 020 7609 1800 or via the Pleasance website. For the Oxford dates, tickets range from £10 to £20 and can be booked on 01865 305 305 or online at www.ticketsoxford.com. In between, the show pays matinee visits to Shakespeare House on 21 June and Conbury Park, Oxford on 28 June.


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