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Two schools unite to retell Shakespeareâs definitive love story
Students from University College School, Hampstead, and Westminster Academy have formed one cast to stage Romeo and Juliet. Four hundred years since Shakespeare’s death, students from two schools form one community cast in this bold, energetic retelling of the definitive story of love, desire and division.
To recognise the 400th year since Shakespeare’s death, 24 students from both schools, aged 13-16, have been rehearsing and collaborating together on a highly innovative project. Westminster Academy students play the Capulets and UCS Hampstead students are the Montagues in this energetic, youthful production. They have created a contemporary production set in modern day, featuring live music and movement. The production will be staged in The Arts Depot - providing students with the unique opportunity to perform in a professional theatre for two nights.
UCS’ Director in Residence and the director of Romeo and Juliet, Connor Abbott, said, “We wanted to do something unique as a contribution to the various Shakespeare 400 events this year. Collaboration with Westminster Academy particularly excited us - the idea of students from two different schools creating a piece of theatre together has been a fantastic experience for all the students involved. What better Shakespeare play to stage with two different schools than Romeo and Juliet? As well as being a story of forbidden love - it is also a story about the division and conflict of ‘two households, both alike in dignity’. The play is set amongst the backdrop of a divided community and bringing two different school communities together into one cast has been an enlightening means of staging the play”.
Dr Rana said, “Westminster Academy students are passionate about Expressive Arts, so I am delighted that this collaboration for Shakespeare 400 is one of the many exciting opportunities our partnership with UCS has provided. I am very much looking forward to the performance.”
Romeo and Juliet is at the Arts Depot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, London N12 0GA on 7th and 8th November at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from Arts Depot Box Office on 020 83695454 or at https://www.artsdepot.co.uk/theatre/romeo-juliet.
By UCS, partner school to Westminster Academy