ORomeo! Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?
These immortal lines will ring around the Station Theatre on Hayling Island when the Southsea Shakespeare Actors tackle Romeo and Juliet.
The group has performed nearly 200 plays since they were formed in 1947 and from Wednesday they will put their own spin on one of Shakespeare’s most famous works.
This production takes place in a modern day footballing context.
The Montagues and the Capulets are both rival Mafioso families, their enmity reinforced by the football teams they follow – Lazio and Roma, two Rome-based teams whose animosity is legendary.
The show promises to be quick, vibrant and lively with a heavy emphasis on music.
Director Rob Bartlett says: ‘In our production Capulet is a monster, lady Capulet cold and uncaring, Tybalt a fiery upstart, Paris a South American drug dealer and Mercutio a sad braggart.
‘Against this backdrop of sleaze and horrible self-centred characters the purity of Romeo and Juliets’ love will shine even brighter.’
Chris Mills plays Romeo opposite Phoebe Saunders as Juliet.
Despite originally auditioning for Tybalt, Chris impressed in his audition and will draw on personal experience for the emotional range requried for the tragic hero.
‘I try to draw on situations I have actually been in, it gives you a genuine emotional basis to work with,’ says Chris.
‘It could be as simple as being told some bad news. I used to have a dog called Ringo, and sadly he had to be put down when I was in Primary School.
‘I just think about being told about that when I am playing Romeo in that situaiton.’
Romeo and Juliet comes to the Station Theatre at Hayling Island this Wednesday until next Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £9 for adults and £7 for children and students. For more information visit hayling-dramatics.hampshire.org.uk or call (02392) 466 363.