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Capulets & Montagues

The Dell Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, and GBS Studio, London, 13-16, 25-26 August 2006

Shakespeare and Lope de Vega were two extraordinary geniuses, born within a couple of years of each other, and writing for similar theatre spaces in the respective golden ages of English and Spanish culture. Recently, the RSC's triumphant season of Spanish Golden Age plays revealed similarities on stage. For the first time in history, a direct comparison between them has been possible. Lope's CAPULETS & MONTAGUES, performed by students from Warwick University, dramatizes the same material as Shakespeare’s ROMEO AND JULIET, so audiences were able to see the Spanish master's version of the story outdoors at the Dell, before walking across to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to see the more familiar version of our English master.

The production is staged by the CAPITAL Centre (Creativity and Performance in Teaching and Learning), in line with its aims to use theatre skills and experience to enhance student learning and to draw on University research and resources to shape the development of the RSC acting companies. The performance of Lope's vibrant play in Stratford and London is CAPITAL’s first major public event as part of the RSC Complete Works Festival Fringe. The project embodies the spirit of CAPITAL in every way: a cast of students and a student production team are working with a professional director who has RSC experience, whilst also drawing on RSC expertise in voice, movement, and wardrobe. At the same time, the choice of play reflects the ambition of both the RSC and Warwick scholars to explore Shakespeare in the context of the contemporary drama of his age.