Happy birthday Will! All-women Romeo And Juliet cast stage Shakespearean party

Party time… the Romeo And Juliet cast in St Olave's Church, Marygate. Photographs: Richard McDougall
23 Apr 2015 @ 10.05 am
| News
Party time… the Romeo And Juliet cast in St Olave's Church, Marygate. Photographs: Richard McDougall
Party time… the Romeo And Juliet cast in St Olave’s Church, Marygate. Photographs: Richard McDougall
York International Shakespeare Festival

Various York venues

Thurs May 7-Sat May 23

From £5

Details on the Theatre Royal website

It is William Shakespeare’s birthday today (April 23) – and to celebrate the cast of a new production of Romeo And Juliet staged a big old bash for the Bard.

No doubt the 451-year-old playwright would have been thrilled to join the Flanagan Collective’s finest as they took a break from rehearsals to put on the knees-up.

Party poppers – the R&J cast
Party poppers – the R&J cast
The six-strong Flanagan Collective cast
The six-strong Flanagan Collective cast

As St Olave’s Church on Marygate echoed to the sound of party blowers and bouncing balloons, it became clear that this production of Romeo And Juliet will be like no other.

For a start the enduring tragedy will be staged by an all-woman cast. And it will be staged here in St Olave’s, stalwart survivor of the Siege of York (which also started on April 23 – in 1644).

The Flanagan Collective love to take theatre out and about, having performed Sherlock Holmes in York Guildhall and A Christmas Carol in city pubs.

Ready to kick of the Shakespeare Festival
Ready to kick of the Shakespeare Festival
Romeo And Juliet

St Olave’s Church, Marygate, York YO30 7BZ

Thurs May 7-Sat May 23 @ 7.30pm with 2.30pm Sat matinees

£14-£18

Flanagan Collective

Romeo And Juliet opens the very first York International Shakespeare Festival which runs from May 8 to 17.

Directed by Alexander Wright, produced by Brian Hook and performed by Holly Beasley-Garrigan, Amie Burns Walker, Yoshika Colwell, Hannah Davies, Sarah Davies and Emma Ballantine, this contemporary production of Romeo and Juliet will be infused with live music, soaring harmonies and good, honest storytelling.

Director Alexander Wright said:

We are having a whole lot of fun in rehearsals – dancing, dressing up and learning capoeira. It’s almost unimaginable that we are working on a play that is over 400 years old. The more we read and play with it, the more it feels like a play which was written for us – here and now.

Of course April 23, while never definitively confirmed as Shakespeare’s birthday, was definitely the date of his death. But we won’t mention that in case it poops a very enjoyable party.