Romeo & Juliet

”Perhaps not the Shakespeare we are used to, but this is Shakespeare as he should be”
Sean Connery

”…it rediscovers the heart of the play … in a way that most versions would give their eye-teeth for.”
Ian Shuttelworth – Financial Times

“Achingly sexy. Surprisingly moving. Enormous fun”
Daily Telegraph

“Wonderfully irreverent, richly comic & physically daring…Hot in every sense.”
The Guardian

ROMEO & JULIET  by William Shakespeare

A Vesturport production
Directed by Gisli Örn Gardarsson

Actor, director, and former gymnast Gisli Örn Gardarsson made his directorial debut for Vesturport in 2002 with this circus-inspired, award-winning production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The goal was to create a production, which would introduce theatre in a fun and an interesting way to the general public who often perceives theatre as a dull and stagnated art form. The production is a circus-orientated version of Shakespeare’s classic using acrobatic, aerobatic and clown-esque techniques, all without losing the tragic fundaments of the play.  Shakespeare’s original text is performed, although there is freedom of interaction with the audience, creating an improvisational dialog. The play is furthermore filled with music and contemporary love songs, giving it a Moulin Rouge inspired atmosphere. The use of circus skills in the production emphasizes the dramatic tension of Romeo and Juliet and brings to focus the living organic qualities of the dramatic structure.

Romeo & Juliet – Love is in the air originally premiered at the Reykjavik City Theatre and was an instant hit in Iceland amongst the audience as well as the critics. The production received two prestigious awards at the Icelandic Theatre Awards. One year later Vesturport arrived in London.  Romeo & Juliet – Love is in the Air opened at the Young Vic Theatre on October 1, 2003 and was an outstanding success at the box office being sold out from the beginning to the end of its six weeks limited run. The production received great reviews in the English press where it was hailed as one of the most exciting theatrical events for years.  Romeo & Juliet also succeeded to introduce theatre to children and adults alike who in some instances came to see the show up to four times. Straight after the Young Vic opening of Romeo & Juliet, outside producers spotted the commercial potential of the production. The production was transferred to the West End Theatre, Playhouse, where it opened on the 12th of November 2004. Again the production received great reviews and was “pick of the week” in most newspapers during it’s two month run. Since London, Romeo and Juliet, has been performed in Germany (Recklinghausen), Poland (Gdansk), Norway (Stavanger) and Finland (Tampere).

Running time: 2 ½ hour with interval

Cast

Friar Laurence
Arni Petur Gudjonsson

Mercutio
Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson

Paris
Erlendur Eiriksson

Romeo
Gisli Örn Gardarsson

Capulet
Ingvar E. Sigurdsson

Nurse to Juliet
Olafur Darri Olafsson

Tybalt and Jesus
Olafur Egill Egilsson

Peter
Vikingur Kristjansson

Lady Capulet and Benvolio
Margret Vilhjalmsdottir

Juliet
Nina Dogg Filippusdottir

Gymnasts/Acrobats

Member of Tybalts gang and Plant
Johannes Niels Sigurdsson

Member of Tybalts gang
Kristjan Arsaelsson

Prince
Tomas Aron Gudmundsson

Creative team

Director
Gisli Örn Gardarsson

Associate Director
Rufus Norris

Co-director for the original Icelandic version
Agnar Jon Egilsson

Set Designer
Borkur Jonsson

Costumes
Þórunn Elísabet Sveinsdóttir

Choreographer
Katrin Hall

Musical Director
Karl Olgeirsson

Lighting Designer
Bjorn Helgason (Iceland 2010 and touring)
Tim Mitchell (Playhouse, UK)
Paul Russel (Young Vic, UK)
Halldor Orn Oskarsson (Iceland)

Stage Manager
Hlynur Kristjansson

Sound and light operator
Guðrun Lilja Magnusdottir

Program editor
Olafur Egill Egilsson

Photos
EDDI

Tour manager
Rakel Gardarsdottir

Current Producer
Dyri Jonsson

Venues

Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik City Theatre Premiere 20th November 2002

London, UK
Young Vic London Premiere 1st October 2003

Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik City Theatre 2004

London, Uk
Playhouse London 12th November 2004

Tampere. Finland
TTT Suuri nayttamö 11-12th August 2005
Tampere Theatre Festival

Germany, Recklinghausen
Schauspielhaus 7-11th June 2006
Ruhrfestspiele festival

Gdansk Poland
Wybrzeze Theatre 8-9th August 2006
Shakespeare Festival

Stavanger, Norway
Sandnes Kulturhus 1st– 3rd December 2006
Stavanger2006’s HOT/cold

Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik City Theatre 11th May – 24th August 2010

Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik City Theatre 4th April – 10th June 2012