IT’S one of the world’s most popular stories – two star crossed lovers torn apart by family rivalry and whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families.
Now a new version of Romeo and Juliet will hit the Lawrence Batley Theatre stage – and Shakespeare’s classic tale will be re-told in a unique fashion.
For the team at theatre college Renaissance-Arts are merging drama, singing and dance to recreate Romeo and Juliet at the theatre on Saturday, June 9.
Former Brighouse professional dancer Martin Howland, director of Renaissance-Arts, has the task of bringing it to the LBT stage and it will be his theatre and dance company’s end of year production.
Martin explained: “We’ve chosen to use a combination of drama, singing and dance and it’s not done in that style very often.
“The graduates will lead the production but there’s first and second year students in the cast of 25 as well.
“It covers all genres from hip-hop to Prokofiev, Shakespeare to West Side Story and classical ballet to jazz and we promise a performance of high technical precision combined with power and passion directed, choreographed and produced by some of the brightest talent within the UK industry.”
In case anyone needs reminding, playwright William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet tells the story of the young lovers who conduct a love affair despite coming from opposing feuding families – the Montagues and the Capulets in the hip city of Verona.
Ultimately, it is their tragic deaths which reunited the two families.
Lucian Collier plays Romeo and Kerry Crozier is Juliet.
Martin described Renaissance-Arts’s take as an original adaptation of Shakespeare’s tale of romance and ultimate sacrifice.
And he can’t wait for his young proteges to hit the Huddersfield stage.
Martin trained at the Elwyn School of Dance in Brighouse and left his hometown aged 11 to go study at the Royal Ballet School in London.
He was accepted to the Royal Ballet and at White Lodge in Richmond Park and performed with The Royal Ballet Company.
He is now the co-director of Renaissance-Arts, a Leeds-based vocational college which brings up industry insiders who have had careers and want to pass on their knowledge.
His aim in creating the college was to allow dance lovers to indulge in their passion without having to relocate to London.
Romeo and Juliet runs for just two shows on Saturday, June 9, with a matinee at 2.30pm and an evening showing at 7.30pm.
The matinee performance is being held in aid of Dalton-based Kirkwood Hospice, Overgate Hospice in Elland and the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, which will be Renaissance-Arts’ charity of the year from September.
“We have also been working closely with Cancer Research UK and we have already held several fundraising schemes for them,” said Martin.
The Mayor of Kirklees, Clr David Ridgeway and mayoress Karen Ridgeway, will attend the evening production.
For tickets contact the LBT box office on 01484 430528.