Recording of the first of two of Shakespeare’s love plays took place this week in the BBC’s studios at Broadcasting House. The cast of Romeo And Juliet, including David Tennant, were working in Studio 60A, the newest drama studio among the company’s resources. The play is due to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as part of the Shakespeare Season later this year, and stars Trystan Gravelle and Vanessa Kirby in the title roles and David Tennant as Prince Escalus.
Work on the play has continued all week. Fortunately for fans, the lovely staff of Studio 60A have their own Twitter account so it has been possible throughout the week to have a little insight into what has been going on during recording through their regular updates. The following are all tweets posted by the studio (and one cast member) relating to the recording of the production. Although David Tennant himself is not mentioned it has definitely been fun and interesting to follow.
Recording a little-known play called Romeo and Juliet today. I have a feeling it could go onto great things one day. #whereforartthou #drama
Cast member Carl Prekopp also added:
Monday! Begins with Romeo and Juliet in @Studio60A followed by 8.30pm performance from my band at Proud in Camden.
The studio didn’t update on Tuesday, but it was known from the BBC Radio Drama Newsletter the previous Friday that very appropriately Valentine’s Day was the day scheduled for the recording of the balcony scene. The tweets started again on Wednesday:
Well after a day of love, it’s back to the war… Capulet versus Montague. The actors are swapping words for swords. #danger #romeoandjuliet
Capulets & Montagues sit side by side in the green room, sharing anectdotes and biscuits. Wasn’t like this in Shakespeare’s time.#drama
So how do you like your Romeo and Juliet? Our balcony scene definitely got some pulses racing in the cubicle! #tisthesun
Benvolio and Mercutio….the likely lads enter the studio #isensetrouble #runtybalt #romeoandjuliet
Romeo’s banished, crying on the floor. Still, cheered up by the fact that his wedding night’s just round the corner. #glasshalffull
Another day dawns in fair Verona…star-cross’d lovers…check! #romeoandjuliet
A funny thing about recording a play out of sequence: killing a character, then bringing them back to life for the next scene #playinggod
Juliet and the Nurse are centre stage (well, mic) this afternoon. News of Tybalt reaches the Capulet’s pad…. #ohromeo
The wedding night arrives! The Studio Manager has fashioned a lovely bed for R&J, and she’s now trying to get R to take of his…er…shoes.
didn’t realise how many times Romeo has to leg it over the balcony in this play! #musthavebeenfit #luckyitsradio
Last day in fair Verona. Still fair. Still Verona. #romeoandjuliet
Director’s note for the background whispering when Tybalt walks in…”pretend you’re in The Wire, and Omar has just walked in…” #whistles
PARTY IN 60A!! Friday afternoon and the Capulets have put on quite a shindig! #sadlywaterworksforwineonradio
Toying with the idea of recording R&J: THE HAPPY ENDING (a kind of Dennis Potter affair) – but do we have the nerve? #sunshineandhappiness
Dancing at Capulet’s – mainly men in studio, so some had to wear practice skirts. I got to lead Ron Cook…he was the woman in a red skirt.
…. mainly we just like to play dress up!!
Finishing up on Romeo and Juliet. Or to quote a certain writer, parting..is such sweet sorrow…
The same cast return to the studio next week to start recording Twelfth Night. At the moment, roles are not known, but we look forward to similar updates from the studio!
In other audio drama news, it was confirmed this week that David Tennant would be recording an adaptation of the Daniel Glattauer novel Love Virtually with Emilia Fox for broadcast on Thursday 8th March. However, it does appear that David’s other recent recording, Waiting For The Boatman, originally listed for Friday 9th March, has been rescheduled with a new date yet to be announced.
Romeo And Juliet and Twelfth Night will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 during April.You can keep up to date with the radio drama news through the weekly radio drama newsletter from the BBC.