Juliet & Romeo

Reversed, deconstructed and re-imagined to create a truly remarkable piece of theatre, Juliet & Romeo is the inaugural long-run production at The Chelsea Theatre, following its major renovation and relaunch in early 2020.

A thrilling and uplifting expression of what drama and theatre are all about

Intermission Youth Theatre has taken the Bard’s famous work and swapped the star-crossed lovers’ lines. This is no gimmick, but a clever way of achieving a new perspective on the play. As Mark Rylance, Intermission Youth’s trustee comments, “The gender change is a revelation and works beautifully… This is authentic stuff.” And it’s only the beginning. Giving more immediacy to the story, the setting becomes present-day London in the midst of a global pandemic, reminding us that Shakespeare used his own plague years so creatively. Added to that are issues in the BLM movement and young people engaged in post-code feuds. Next, the text is ripped to pieces and interspersed with newly created material devised by the company that speaks vividly in the contemporary street language of today’s youth.

I didn’t understand it all and it didn't matter. Their language is not my language but then neither is Shakespeare’s. He wrote for the people of his day to understand and identify with his words and message. Intermission Youth Theatre has attempted to do the same, perhaps not for old white men like me, but certainly for Generation Z. I’ve sat through operas in foreign languages and even English, that I didn’t understand or follow, but was carried away by the power and dynamism of the actors and the splendour of the production. The same happened here. With knowledge of the original, and the presence of well-crafted characters, it’s possible to move through the scenes absorbing the visceral energy that abounds throughout this production.

Juliet & Romeo is intensely of the people who have created it through Intermission Youth Theatre (IYT), ‘a unique 10-month programme for 16-25 year olds that develops creativity, builds confidence, increases life skills and encourages self-expression in a safe environment’. The Theatre is part of Intermission Youth, an organisation that was created to ‘transform the lives of disadvantaged young people’. It’s attracted support from around the world. This Juliet & Romeo class enjoyed the thrill of masterclasses from Whoopi Goldberg, Daniel Kaluuya, Andrew Garfield and David Oyelowo in addition to the benefits of the long-standing association with the RSC and Shakespeare’s Globe.

Outstanding individual performances were manifold, but in the spirit of this production it's perhaps best to see it as a large-cast ensemble piece, with a skillful lighting design by Julian McCready. Darren Raymond, who has been shortlisted for the 2021 National Diversity Awards, re-imagined and directed the play that makes extensive use of a chorus, members of which casually occupy spaces around the grey-toned set of sturdy boxes that are moved to create different levels and scenes. They wear matching hoodies and joggers all from the costume and set designs by Delyth Evans. To give maximum opportunity to the youngsters the play is double cast: the leads of one night are the chorus of another night.

Juliet & Romeo is much more than just another production. It’s a thrilling and uplifting expression of what drama and theatre are all about. Here we have an ethnically diverse group of young people drawing inspiration from the nation’s greatest playwright to create a work that resonates with meaning for them and society today. As Shakespeare said, “Youth is hot and bold”, which pretty much sums up this production.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Richard Beck

Coronet Theatre Ltd

The Beckett Trilogy

Barbican Theatre / The Barbican

Kiss Me, Kate

Coronet Theatre Ltd

L'Amore Del Cuore (Heart's Desire)

Theatre Peckham

Barrier To Entry

Restaurace Malostranská Beseda

The Chemistry of Love

Muzeum alchymistů a mágů staré Prahy

Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Intermission Youth Theatre presents this unique re-imagining which premieres next month in London with the support of Sir Mark Rylance and a host of Hollywood heavyweights. This tale of feuding families and doomed romance transposes the star-crossed lovers’ lines – in a Shakespeare first - giving audiences a fresh lens in which to view this iconic tragedy.  

Set in present-day London where the streets are tense with the global pandemic and the BLM movement, Juliet & Romeo interweaves 400-year-old verse with urban dialogue to give new relevance to the Shakespeare canon. 

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets