Jessie Buckley is to star as Juliet alongside Josh O’Connor as Romeo in a new National Theatre production.
Romeo and Juliet, directed by Simon Godwin, opens at the Olivier theatre in August as part of the venue’s 2020 season. The cast includes Fisayo Akinade in the role of Mercutio, with set and costume design by Soutra Gilmour, lighting design by Lucy Carter, composition by Michael Bruce and sound design by Christopher Shutt.
The venue’s artistic director Rufus Norris said :”It’s […] wonderful to be welcoming Simon Godwin back to the NT to direct Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the Olivier. Combining Simon’s impeccable classical credentials with the brightest young actors, this is sure to be an unmissable production.”
New programming for 2020 also includes a production of Hamlet, reimagined for younger audiences by Jude Christian and directed by Tinuke Craig. The show will tour state schools across London, before running at the Dorfman Theatre from March 30 to April 9.
Sea Sick, a production written and performed by Alanna Mitchell, will play in the Dorfman Theatre following its Canadian tour and run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe earlier this year.
Norris added: “Following its sell-out run in Edinburgh earlier this year, the production tells the story of the science behind our seas and could not be more important as we all look to find ways to tackle the climate emergency.”
The NT recently announced a major new effort to become carbon neutral as part of its reaction to the climate emergency.
Gary Owen’s new play Romeo and Julie, will tour to four Theatre Nation Partnership venues across the UK, before running at the Dorfman Theatre and the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff. Callum Scott Howells will play Romeo, with Rosie Sheehy as Julie, in a co-production with Sherman Theatre.
The NT has also announced it will broadcast Cyrano de Bergerac with James McAvoy from the Playhouse Theatre, and The Welkin, Jack Absolute Flies Again and Romeo and Juliet, through its NT Live initiative.
Jack Absolute Flies Again, by Richard Bean and Oliver Chris, is to star Laurie Davidson and Natalie Simpson, Caroline Quentin and Richard Fleeshman.