Executive Producer Jerry Gunn today announces full casting for the company’s production of Shakespeare’sRomeo + Juliet. Sally Cookson returns to theatre to direct Sharon D Clarke (Nurse), Matt Costain(Paris/Prince), Chris Bianchi (Friar Lawrence/ Montague), Audrey Brisson (Juliet), Joseph Drake (Romeo),Laura Elphinstone (Mercutio), Felix Hayes (Tybalt) and Javier Marzan (Peter). The production opens on 4 March, with previews from 28 February, and runs until 14 March.
Chief Executive of Rose Theatre Kingston Robert O’Dowd said today, “I am thrilled to welcome Sally Cookson back to the Rose. She is a glorious collaborator – a joy to have in the building, and an extraordinary director with an incredible visual flair. Reunited with the team behind Hetty Feather, I cannot wait to see what they will bring to Romeo + Juliet.”
By turns lyrical, seductive and hot-blooded, this is the explosive story of an intense passion between the children of sworn enemies. Risking everything to be together, their tragedy is played out in a divided city where lives are ruled by secrets and fear.
Following their recent successes with Jane Eyre and Hetty Feather, director Sally Cookson and composer Benji Bower once again collaborate to bring their unique approach to ensemble story-telling to the most beautiful and passionate of Shakespeare’s plays.
Matt Costain plays Paris/Prince. His theatre credits include Hetty Feather (Rose Theatre Kingston/UK Tour/Vaudeville Theatre), Warhorse and The Birds (National Theatre), Wendy And Peter Pan, Henry IV Pts 1 &2, Henry V, Henry VI Pts 1, 2 & 3. and Richard III (Royal Shakespeare Company), Macbeth, Pericles and Man Falling Down (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre), The Tempest (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dr. Faustus, The Master and Margarita (Chichester Festival Theatre), Treasure Island (Theatre Royal, Haymarket), Monkey! (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Papa Please Get The Moon Tor Me (Bristol Old Vic),The Thought That Counts (Theatre Rites at The Barbican), Jason and The Argonauts (BAC), and The Millennium Show (The Dome / O2). His aerial, performance and movement directing credits include Wendy and Peter Pan and The Histories (RSC), The Birds (National Theatre), Brazil, One Few Over The Cuckoo’s Nestand Blade Runner (Secret Cinema) and Storm (The Generating Company, The Barbican).
Chris Bianchi plays Friar Lawrence/Montague. His theatre credits include for the Tobacco Factory As You Like It, Arcadia, Richard III, The Cherry Orchard, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, The Last Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor, A Christmas Carol and Alice through the Looking Glass, for Bristol Old Vic The Boy Who Cried Wolf, No Loud Bangs series, The Rivals, Penetrator, The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark and Aesop's Fables, Therese Raquin, The Nutcracker (Bath Theatre Royal), The French Detective and The Blue Dog (Egg, Bath), A Flying Visit, The Crowstarver, Bonjour Bob and The Ministry of Fear (Theatre Alibi), King Lear, The Provok'd Wife, The Seagull and Filumena (The Peter Hall Company at The Old Vic) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Charlotte's Web (Duke's, Lancaster). His television credits include The Cafe, Casualty, Historyonics and X-Creatures.
Audrey Brisson plays Juliet. Her theatre credits include Reinvente and Quidam (Cirque Du Soleil international tour), Midnight's Pumpkin and The Wild Bride (Kneehigh), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe(Kensington Gardens), The Elephantom (National Theatre) and Dead Dog in a Suitcase & Other Love Songs(Kneehigh). Her television credits include Money; and for film, Hereafter directed by Clint Eastwood and W.E.directed by Madonna.
Sharon D Clarke plays Nurse. Her theatre credits include Mother Goose (Hackney Empire), Porgy and Bess(Regents Park Open Air Theatre), Blues in the Night (Hackney Empire), Amen Corner (2014 Olivier Award winner for 'Best Supporting Actress', National Theatre), Ghost (2012 Olivier Award nominee, Hello Ent. /Paramount Pic), Hairspray (Stage Entertainment UK), Once On This Island (Nottingham Playhouse), Vagina Monologues (Hackney Empire), Lift Off (Curve Theatre), Vagina Monologues (Wolverhampton Grand),Chicago (Adelphi Theatre), We Will Rock You (2003 Olivier Award nominee, Dominion Theatre), The Lion King(Lyceum Theatre), Fame (Nick Grace Productions), Rent (Shaftsbury Theatre), Guys and Dolls (National Theatre), Mama I Want to Sing (Cambridge Theatre), Once on this Island (1995 Olivier Award nominee, Birmingham Rep. Theatre) and Little Shop of Horrors (Leicester Haymarket Theatre). Her television credits include You, Me &Them II, Death in Paradise, New Tricks, Psychobitches, The Shadow Line, Casualty, Holby City (series regular as Lola Griffin), Boo!, The Crust, Waking the Dead, Stop, Look, Listen and The Singing Detective and for film; Sugarhouse, Secret Society and Beautiful People.
Joseph Drake plays Romeo. Theatre credits include The Seagull (Southwark Playhouse),‘Malcolm’ in Macbeth (Sheffield Crucible), Shivered (Southwark Playhouse), The Lion in Winter (Theatre Royal Haymarket),Rattigan’s Njinsky (Chichester Festival Theatre), Deep Blue Sea (Chichester Festival Theatre), Kingdom of Earth (The Print Room) and Vernon God Little (The Young Vic). His television credits include Foyle’s War, Ripper Street and Doctors; and for film, The Jungle Book and Remainder.
Laura Elphinstone plays Mercutio. Her theatre credits include The White Devil (RSC), Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic), Virgin (Watford Palace Theatre), Love and Information (Royal Court), Utopia (Soho Theatre/Live Theatre Newcastle), Top Girls (Chichester FT/Trafalgar Studios) and A Month in the Country (Chichester Festival Theatre). His television credits include Suspicious of Mr Whicher, My So Called Life Sentence, Tess of the D’Urbervilles; and for film, Leave to Remain and History Boys.
Felix Hayes plays Tybalt. His theatre credits include Jane Eyre (Bristol Old Vic), Comedy of Errors, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Nights Dream and Carsenio (RSC), for the Tobacco Factory The Tempest, The Adventures of Pinocchio, A Midsummer Nights Dream, A Christmas Carol and Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves (also Travelling Light). His television credits include Friday Night Dinner.
Javier Marzan plays Peter. His theatre credits include Sex and Three Day Week and No Wise Men (Liverpool Everyman), And The Horse You Rode On (Barbican Theatre), Royal Jelly (David Pugh Productions), The Critic(Minerva Theatre), for Lyric Hammersmith Spyski (also West Yorkshire Playhouse), Jack and the Beanstalk, Beauty and the Beast (also Told By An Idiot), Cinderella and A Christmas Carol, A Streetcar Named Desire(Nuffield, Southhampton) and The Hound of the Baskervilles (Duchess Theatre). His television credits includeWatson and Oliver, Mongrels, Royal Jelly, Clone and Extra; and for film Paddington Bear, Acts of Godfrey andNot Waving But Drowning.
Sally Cookson is an Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic, where productions have included Jane Eyre, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Peter Pan, Treasure Island, Aesop’s Fables, Pains of Youth, Pericles, Strange Case and The Visit. Her on-going collaboration with Travelling Light Theatre has resulted in her directing over ten productions for the company, including the Olivier nominated Cinderella, Boing!, Cloudland, Bob The Man on The Moon, How Cold My Toes, Shadow Play, Clown, Lenny, Home and Papa Please Get The Moon For Me. For Tobacco Factory, theatre includes Cinderella, The Ugly Duckling, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Her other theatre work incudes Varmints (Sadler’s Wells), We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (KW & NB Ltd), Lost and Found(Polka Theatre), Stick Man, Aesop’s Fables, Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales (Scamp Theatre), Sapling Song, As Far As I Can Sea (National Trust), The Mermaid And The Mirror (Half Moon), and Jump (Myrtle Theatre).