The previously announced Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor-led staging of Romeo and Juliet at London’s National Theatre will now be adapted as a made-for-television film, to air in the U.S. and U.K. Organizers hope to premeire the special in spring 2021 on PBS and Sky Arts.
Fisayo Akinade will still play Mercutio with newly announced Olivier winners Deborah Findlay and Tamsin Greig as the Nurse and Lady Capulet, respectively, Lucian Msamati as the Friar, Shubham Saraf as Benvolio, David Judge as Tybalt, Alex Mugnaioni as Paris, and Ellis Howard as Sampson. The production, which was initially scheduled to play the National's Olivier stage this past summer, is set in present-day Italy, where Catholic and secular values clash as two young lovers strive to transcend a world of violence and corruption.
Romeo and Juliet is directed by NT Associate Simon Godwin and adapted by Emily Burns. The London venue’s Lyttelton stage has been transformed into a film studio, making this the first time an original production for the screen has been created at the National Theatre’s campus.
“I wanted to find a way to use that space to create something exciting and special for audiences, that utilized the exceptional skill and craft of the NT’s teams, freelancers, and creative associates, and that could reach as many people as we can,” said Rufus Norris, NT director and joint chief executive.
The director of photography is Tim Sidell, with production design by Soutra Gilmour, movement direction by Jonathan Goddard and Shelley Maxwell, fight direction by Kate Waters, and original music by Michael Bruce.
Romeo and Juliet is produced by National Theatre in association with Sabel Productions and Cuba Pictures and supported by Leila Maw Straus. David Sabel produces with executive producers Norris, Dixie Linder, David Horn, Christine Schwarzman and Darren Johnston, and Philip Edgar Jones.