- Character: Romeo
- Writer: William Shakespeare
- Director: Michael Boyd
- Production: Royal Shakespeare Company
- Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon
- Theatre Royal, Newcastle
- The Barbican, London
- Play Run:
- SUA – 23rd June 2000 (Previews)
- 5th July 2000 t0 7th October 2000
- Newcastle – 30th October 2000 to 25th November 2007
- London – 11 January 2001 (Previews)
- 17th January 2001 t0 8th March 2001
- Running Time: 3 1/4 hrs (20 minute interval)
- Claire Adamson – Paris’ Page
- Vincent Bramble – Montague
- Alfred Burke – Escalus
- Sam Cox – Cousin Capulet/Prince Guard/Chorus/Apothacary
- Keith Dunphy – Tybalt
- Paul Ewing – Chorus/PotPan
- Alexandra Gilbreath – Juliet
- Robert Goodale – Peter
- Caroline Harris – Lady Capulet
- Jalaal Hartley – Abram
- Ian Hogg – Capulet
- Anthony Howell – Benvolio
- Nicholas Khan – Paris
- Christian Mahrle – Balthasar
- Eileen McCallum – Nurse
- Graeme Mearns – Prince’s Guard
- Andrew Pointon – Chorus/Gregory
- Adrian Schiller – Mercutio
- David Tennant – Romeo
- Tim Treloar – Chorus/Sampson
- Helen Weir – Lady Montague
A long-standing feud between the Montagues and the Capulets flares up in a brawl on the streets of Verona, halted only by the arrival of Prince Escalus. Romeo, only son of the Montagues, is hopelessly in love with the unattainable Rosaline. Attempting to shake him out of his melancholy, his friends Mercutio and Benvolio persuade him to go to a party at the Capulets’ house. There he meets and falls instantly in love with Juliet, the Capulets’ only daughter, and she with him. With the help of Juliet’s Nurse, they are secretly married the next day by Friar Laurence. Juliet’s cousin Tybalt quarrels with Romeo and in the fight which ensues, Mercutio is killed. Romeo avenges his friend’s death and kills Tybalt, for which he is banished from Verona on pain of death.
After spending a single night with his bride, he escapes to Mantua. Juliet learns that her parents plan to marry her to Count Paris. Distraught, she turns to Friar Laurence, who devises a plan. He gives her a drug which will make her appear to be dead. The intention is that her parents will place her in the family tomb and when she awakes from her drugged sleep, Romeo will be waiting to escape with her to Mantua. When Romeo returns to Verona, he believes her really to be dead and kills himself. Waking to find Romeo dead beside her, Juliet kills herself. The two families, united in grief, vow to end their feud.
(Source – The RSC)
David plays Romeo the son and heir of Montague and Lady Montague. Romeo is handsome, intelligent, and sensitive although impulsive and immature. He lives in the middle of a violent feud but his only interest is love. He is madly in love with a woman named Rosaline, but the instant he lays eyes on Juliet, he falls in love with her and forgets Rosaline. Romeo is also an affectionate and devoted friend to his relative Benvolio, Mercutio, and Friar Lawrence.
Romeo is one of the most important characters of the play, and has a constant presence throughout. His role as an idealistic lover has led to the word “Romeo” becoming a synonym for a passionate male lover in various languages.
The play previewed in June 2000 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and then ran from July until October receiving great reviews for David. He appeared in three shows at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle during October and November 2000, before transferring to The Barbican, London in January until March 2001.
The Guardian- Lyn Gardner – July 13, 2000
“Tennant captures the callowness and impetuosity of Romeo.”
“David Tennant. . . brings a fine confused anger and passion to the part.”
Curtain Up – Lizzie Loveridge – January 17, 2001
“David Tennant is a sincere Romeo, a handsome, sympathetic hero
David Tennant in Other Productions of Romeo & Juliet
This is not the only time that David has been involved with Romeo and Juliet in some form. In 2005 he took part in a series of notable Shakespeare audio dramas – Complete Arkangel Shakespeare – which included all 38 Shakespeare plays; these were released from 1998 on wards. Out of these plays David was involved in Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, King Lear and The Comedy of Errors. The production featured nearly 400 actors, almost all past or present members of the Royal Shakespeare Company and in 2004 it won the Audie Award for Best Audio Drama.
These plays are still available to buy on CD:
More recently, in 2012 David took part in the BBC Radio 3 Shakespeare Unlocked seasons adaptation of Romeo and Juliet playing Prince Escalus alongside Much Ado about Nothing co-star Adam James, Broadchurch co-star Joe Sims and Doctor Who co-star Ron Cook (The Idiots Lantern).
A huge thank you to Diane at www.davidtennnttheatre.webs.com for her help with the information for this post.