Shakespeare meets street dance in new Romeo and Juliet production
PUBLISHED: 18:35 01 September 2014
Shakespeare's greatest tragedy Romeo and Juliet is set to come alive at Exeter's Northcott Theatre as part of a UK tour by the Custom/Practice theatre company.
In the new production Custom/Practice interweave Shakespeare’s original language with dynamic street dance, aimed at diverse theatre audiences. The approach aims to bring the best of classical theatre to new audiences, while continuing to challenge more traditional audiences by renewing their imaginative engagement with a well-known classical text.
The dance element will be realized by the creative team behind Olivier Award Winning Hip Hop dance company Boy Blue – London-based choreographer Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy and composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante.
Boy Blue is acclaimed for presenting the perfect marriage of music and dance, releasing boundless creative energy in their performances, laying down the beats and delivering thrilling and raw dance sequences. The company is proud to be home to some of the UK’s most sought-after hip-hop artists.
By developing a production that seamlessly integrates the best of spoken classical verse with the best contemporary street dance, the work will challenge audiences and artists from both worlds in order to engage with the text and its narrative in new ways. Both dance and spoken elements will be underscored with newly commissioned music.
As with all of Custom/Practice’s work, the piece is primarily aimed at entertaining and educating as diverse an audience as possible because the company’s core belief is that anybody, whatever their class, background or education can create, access and enjoy theatre of the highest quality.
Rae McKen, founder of Custom/Practice says: “The work makes a powerful case for truly universal access to the classics. By re-imagining a story that is seen as ‘core’ to our heritage through a cast, creative team and theatrical language that each enthusiastically embraces the cultural diversity of our country, the work, we hope, demonstrates to both new and established audiences that such diversity, over and above any social agenda, can quite simply enrich and enhance the artistic experience for everyone, whatever their background.”
The Custom/Practice tour of Romeo and Juliet comes to Exeter’s Northcott Theatre from 24-27 September.