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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Carlisle pupils to stage Shakespeare classic with a twist

It isn't exactly how William Shakespeare pictured it when he penned Romeo and Juliet.

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Could it be we’re falling in love? Romeo and Juliet played by Ben Taylor and Jessica Atkinson

His tragic love story was set in 16th century Verona – the fair Italian city where the Capulet and Montagues feuded.

The performance of his works being staged by performers from Carlisle’s Newman School is, however, very different.

It’s not Verona – it’s not even Italy or the 16th century. It’s Bournemouth and 1964.

And instead of the star-crossed lovers being Montagues and Capulets, they’re mods and rockers – rather like in the iconic film Quadrophenia.

Prince Escalus, ruler of Verona, is cast as a senior police officer who threatens punishment on anyone who takes part in further violence.

It’s all set to music from the 1960s and props from the decade.

Newman’s alternative version of Romeo and Juliet will feature as part of a performance at Keswick’s Theatre By The Lake on Monday.

They have been rehearsing all week ahead of the performance at the event, part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival in which a number of schools in the county take part.

English and drama teacher Luke Denny said: “Taking part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival is a wonderful experience. It helps to develop our pupils’ acting skills and boosts their confidence.

“They have been involved in the UK’s largest youth drama festival.

“The pupils have taken a well-known play and given it a modern theme – a colourful reinvention of a tragic love story. They are to be commended for their hard work and imagination.”

This year is the fourth time Newman has taken part in the Shakespeare festival, which gives pupils the chance to perform in a professional theatre setting, such as that at Keswick.

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