This is the third time Kildare Youth Theatre has produced Romeo and Juliet since 2003. This time their lead performers are the same age as the play’s main characters. This makes for shocking viewing when you see a 13 and 17-year-old enact the desperate events of the play. Their youth theatre is unique in working with second level students by taking them through a seven-month rehearsal period to stage the play that many of them are studying in school. The performers come from schools all over County Kildare.
Directed by Peter Hussey, this production pays close attention to the way Shakespeare criticises the conventions of love poetry in his day, setting the gloomy, celebrity-obsessed fan (Romeo) against the lust-driven and realist friend (Mercutio). Romeo’s idealistic view of love is darkened by a depression that worries his father and that, like Hamlet’s, no-one seems to be able to help. His ridiculous and naive view of love, and his absorbing melancholy, are banished when he meets the realist that is Juliet. But not for long. Over only 3 days they love, marry and die in a city tense with violent young men and ineffectual women.
The play runs for two and a half hours including an interval. It is performed by Tytus Kopera, Amelie Prone, Ralph Gosnell, Marcel Szameta, Aidan Forde, Ally Power, Eoghan Kenna, Leannán Browne Kane, Lauren Kelly, Sinead Mooney, Elizabeth Ryjkova, Cian Ó Náraigh, Ali Eaton, Gonzalo Martinez Ramiro and George Parashkevov. Assistant director is Mary Sheehan.