Theatres may not be open just yet, but fans of the stage will still be able to get their Shakespearean fix with The National Theatre’s filmed version of Romeo & Juliet, starring I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ Jessie Buckley and The Crown‘s Josh O’Connor.
Directed by the NT’s Simon Godwin, this 90-minute film will follow two young lovers living in modern Italy, “in a world where Catholic and secular values clash”, as they “strive to transcend a world of violence and corruption”.
While originally meant to have played to theatre audiences in the National Theatre’s Olivier auditorium from Summer 2020 onwards, Romeo & Juliet is now being adapted for the screen and will be shot over three weeks in December with the help of various theatre and film experts.
“This has been a uniquely challenging time for the industry and so I have huge respect for [National Theatre director Rufus Norris] and the team for meeting this challenge with creativity and deciding to use the Lyttelton theatre in this way for filmed work,” Godwin said.
“I think it’s a genius idea and I’m honoured to be able to create the first film. I think I speak for myself, the creative team and the cast when I say how delighted we are to be focusing all our creativity into this version of Romeo & Juliet once more,” he added. “Some ideas are staying, lots of new ones are coming in – I’m very excited about this new genre, combining film and theatre, and bringing together the remarkable talents of those industries. And the world will get to see Josh as Romeo and Jessie as Juliet, it had to happen!”
Here’s everything you need to know about The National Theatre’s filmed version of Romeo & Juliet.
When is National Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet film released?
While an exact release date has not yet been announced, Romeo & Juliet is expected to premiere on Sky Arts in the UK in spring 2021.
How to watch National Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet film
UK viewers will be able to watch the National Theatre’s production of Romeo & Juliet on free-to-air channel Sky Arts, while in the US, theatre-lovers can watch the film on PBS as part of the channel’s Great Performances series.
National Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet cast
This filmed version of Romeo & Juliet will star Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl, Judy) and Josh O’Connor (The Crown, God’s Own Country) as the titular characters, while Tamsin Greig (Talking Heads, Episodes) will play Lady Capulet and Lucian Msamati (His Dark Materials, Gangs of London) will play the Friar.
Other members of the cast include Cucumber’s Fisayo Akinade (Mercurio), The Split’s Deborah Findlay (the Nurse), Criminal’s Shubham Saraf (Benvolio), My Brilliant Friend’s David Judge (Tybalt), The Visit’s Alex Mugnaioni (Paris) and Catherine the Great’s Ellis Howard (Sampson).