Young people have been hit the hardest by the current so-called ‘austerity’ and growing up in a country that doesn’t value you because of your age is bound to have consequences.
Romeo and Juliet, for me, is not a love story. It is a story about passion: love and hate. And, critically, it’s a story of what happens when society creates a moral vacuum that is then exploited by the younger generation.
I believe we are all responsible for our own actions. The young Londoners who are caught up in today’s cycle of gang violence cannot be excused by saying it’s all society’s fault. However, neither can the people who are creating a society that picks on and punishes people just for being young be excused. These people in power – and those who are silently allowing these cuts to happen – cannot be excused either. We are speedily heading towards a society where young people feel like second-class citizens, where they are not valued, where their lives seem worthless. How can this be excused?
This production is set before the next general election in 2020, and tells the tale through the eyes of young people who have lived through today’s austerity cuts. In this world that young people have not created they are left to make painful mistakes that cannot be unwritten.
13 teenagers have been fatally stabbed in London so far in 2015. This is up from 8 in 2014. In London, knife crime is on the increase and over one teenager a month is dying at the end of a knife blade. How can we so silently let this happen? I’ll leave the final word to Akala, a London rapper who speaks brilliantly for this generation:
Get ’em to the point where some are so lost
They actually believe that
If they don’t celebrate killin’ themselves off
That it’s because they’re soft
The Director would like to thank:
Cec, and the staff at the Rosemary Branch Theatre and pub. Kim, Emma, David, Mauro, Caitlin and all on the KDC Committee. Andy Marchant. Nick Edwards and the cast and crew of Breathing Corpses. Katy Treble, Peter Cabrera and the cast and crew of Night Night, Sleep Tight. Carl Fletcher. Mike and the staff at the Hoop and Grapes pub in Farringdon. Chris Gilbert. Kate Moore.
Katy Treble – Prologue
Katy has been involved in six KDC productions to date. Since her first performance in 2013 she has ventured into producing and directing (which she would have never thought she would do). She has also starting writing scripts and is now looking to pursue a career in the arts. She very much enjoys a large glass of red wine and talking about herself in the third person.
Joe Burnham – Sampson / Friar John
When not on stage, Joe does everything else he has ever done and will continue to do in his life. You can find him making jam tarts in Tottenham, playing with kittens, nihilistically pondering, and sometimes, when things get wild, having a good wall stare. He works for Sadler’s Wells Theatre in Islington, extolling the virtues of all things dance, and later in November and December you’ll be able to catch Joe dressed up as The Snowman while ice skating around Westfield and waving like a confused Royal to throngs of children. Joe has also never written the word throngs before and was excited to find a context to write it so publicly.
Nimatullah Duman – Gregory / Apothecary
Stage or film, whether minuscule or Hollywood is just another opportunity to express one of the many angles the world has to offer. It’s wonderful to take part in this adaptation of the world’s most famous love story. A student of the Brit school, physical theatre performer in the I-petrolus tour of Switzerland and Round House Circa Columbia curtain raiser I’m happy to return to words. Past Shakespearean roles include Lysander, Lucentio and Romeo.
Shaun Bates – Balthasar
This is Shaun Bates first production with KDC theatre company, his move to London two-years ago has reignited his love for the stage, after a prolonged hiatus from acting. Shaun was heavily involved in drama throughout his entire childhood, his most notable roles have been playing Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, The Wind in Gone With The Wind, Tree #3 in Into the Woods, and his originally scripted performance of a mentally disabled boy dealing with the rejection of his first love. When Shaun isn’t trying his hand at acting, he can be found doing what he truly loves, slinging steaks and red wine to bankers in Hawksmoor, Seven Dials.
Ryan Crotty – Abraham
Ryan is thrilled to be making his London stage debut. A recent graduate of Skidmore College in New York, Ryan’s past roles include Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and McDuff in Macbeth. Ryan would like to thank the cast and crew of Romeo and Juliet fo being so warm and welcoming.
Neil Bowman – Benvolio
Neil graduated from (or rather, survived) The Poor School in King’s Cross last year. Since then he has appeared on stage in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Habit of Art and the new musical comedy Musical of the Year. He has also played the lead in the short films Daydreamer and None But Myself. As a Geordie, Neil spent his childhood riding the coal truck to school and dreaming of landing a part in the biggest show on TV, Byker Grove.
Keir Mills – Tybalt
This is Keir’s first production with KDC. In 2014 he performed on stage in the ArtsDepot’s production of Mary O’Malley’s Once A Catholic, having previously worked on-screen in the feature films City Rats and Shaun Of The Dead, and in the acclaimed shorts, Honeymoon, The Outcasts and Green Means Stop. Not forgetting TV Shows including Channel 4’s Teachers and Messiah and the usual rounds of The Bill (sadly deceased), Holby City and Casualty amongst others.
Keir Mills maintains he is an actor… when casting agents agree with him.
Wayil Eisa – Capulet
After a recent run of being cast in plays where his characters where either killed, expired from grief, or cast into never ending purgatory after committing suicide, Wayil is overjoyed at finally surviving to the end of the show. Albeit… his only daughter has killed herself, his wife hates him, his nephew’s blood is on the streets and he is about to hauled before the authorities. Phew! So… er… maybe a comedy next time? Please!?!
Sarah Beebe – Lady Capulet
Sarah has spent her most recent experiences on stage honing her skills at evil laughter and general villainy by playing the conniving Don John in SLT’s Much Ado About Nothing, the scheming Mrs Cheveley in KDC’s An Ideal Husband, and a devious Witch in SEDOS’ Macbeth. Although the ever warm and maternal Lady Capulet is a far, far cry from such cunning characters, she has no doubt she will be back to rubbing her hands together in glee forthwith.
Cathy Abbot – Mrs Montague
Cathy joined KDC back in 2000 and has lost count of the number of productions she has been in. Highlights include: Viola in Twelfth Night, Andromache in Troilus and Cressida and The Trojan Women, Simon in Lord of the Flies, Pope Joan in Top Girls, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible and most recently, Frances in These Shining Lives.
As Costume Designer she relished the opportunity to work on a production set in the near future. She enjoyed putting her trend prediction skills to use and loved the creative freedom of not being tied down to a particular period of fashion.
Emily Barnes – Mayor Escalus
This is Emily’s fourth outing with KDC having previously appeared as Gertrude in their production of Hamlet in 2013 as well as surviving two rigorous KDC group auditions to make it to the first round of the RSC’s A Play for the Nation national audition. Previously she indulged her love of acting and dressing up in fabulous costumes with East Finchley Youth Theatre and as a longstanding member of The Actors Company in North London. She has been cast in a variety of challenging roles over the years, including; Lady Celia Cane in Her Naked Skin (Lenkiewicz), Bride in Blood Wedding (Lorca), Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare), Mephistopheles in Dr Faustus (Marlow), Mary McGinty in Once a Catholic (O’Malley) and Romaine Patterson in The Laramie Project (Kaufman). When she’s not scampering about on stage, she can be found painting and decorating the hair and faces of Essex and North London as a Vintage Hair and Makeup artist.
Ian Green – Paris
Ian is very excited to perform for KDC in his first ever acting role, although he is a keen amateur dancer. At University, he choreographed, performed and competed in many styles including Ballroom, Tango, Salsa, Tap, and Ballet and has had at least one or two lessons in almost every mainstream dance style there is. Outside of dancing, he loves to race Video Games against his mates, and has helped host charity video game “speedrunning” events in the US and Sweden, all under the alias RoboSparkle, which actually comes from his University’s Ballroom club, nicknamed “Team Sparkle” (going full circle!)
Govind Hodgson – Romeo
This is Govind’s 6th year with KDC and subsequently his 6th year writing these profiles in the third person. Govind has been fortunate enough to play a number lead roles with KDC though this role is proving to be a new highlight, with the hopes that he can bring something new to the role whilst retaining some of Romeo’s timeless characteristics/personality traits.
Helen Jackson – Nurse
Hailing from the deep, dark North, Helen knew she was destined for the stage following her first acclaimed theatrical role as ‘Tree in a Forest’ at nursery school. Helen clearly can’t get enough of KDC as this is her 7th (!) KDC production. She has previously appeared in A Clockwork Orange, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tamer Tamed, Electra, Blood Wedding, and Well Dressed.
Julia Pagett – Juliet
Julia is a recent graduate from Drama Studio London and is currently represented by Inspiration Management. Before attending drama school, she attained a degree in French Studies from the University of Warwick. Julia’s upbringing in Africa, North America, France and the UK has helped define the actress she is today. Her previous credits include performances at The Pleasance Theatre, The Tristan Bates Theatre, The New Diorama, The Criterion, Camden People’s Theatre, The Lion and Unicorn and many more.
Matt Tylianakis – Mercutio
This will be Matt’s second appearance in a KDC production, having played El Fayoumi in Last Days of Judas Iscariot back in 2014. As before he will be left with lingering reminders of his participation – this time in the form of bruises rather than cheap cologne. When not making lewd gestures and cheap innuendos (on and off stage), he is a freelance creative artworker.
Jimi Odell – Friar Laurence
Jimi’s previous roles include: a bumbling solicitor in Dracula; a humble esparto farmer in Blood Wedding; a very clever King in The Apple Cart (all KDC); and a conniving chemist in The Devils (SEDOS). When he’s not pretending to be other people, he can be found hunched over a desk writing scripts, hunched over a guitar playing rocknroll, or hunched over a croissant learning foreign languages. He has a bad back and doesn’t get nearly enough sleep.
Kim Morrison – Producer Duncan Moore – Director Karen Gilbert – Assistant Director Stephanie Urquhart – Stage Manager Stewart Moore – Set Construction Cathy Abbot – Costume Designer Ryan Crotty – Fight Director Kate Moore – Dance Choreographer Martin E. Rosso – Lighting and Sound
Congratulations to the cast of Romeo & Juliet, showing at the Rosemary Branch Theatre from 17 to 21 November 2015:
Katy Treble – Prologue
Joe Burnham – Sampson / Friar John Nimatullah Duman – Gregory / Apothecary Shaun Bates – Balthasar Ryan Crotty – Abraham Neil Bowman – Benvolio Keir Mills – Tybalt Wayil Eisa – Lord Capulet Sarah Beebe – Lady Capulet Cathy Abbott – Mrs Montague Emily Barnes – Mayor Escalus Govind Hodgson – Romeo Ian Green – Paris Helen Jackson – Nurse Julia Pagett – Juliet Matt Tylianakis – Mercutio Jimi Odell – Friar Laurence