“Aren’t you Romeo? A Monday? how did you get here The wall is high and difficult to climb!”
In the legendary balcony scene, this is Juliet’s answer to Romeo, who suddenly appears down on her balcony after their first meeting. As I read and learned this sentence in preparation for auditioning for the role of Juliet, I thought: of course, she must know that the wall that surrounds her is difficult to climb, because she tried it!
“Romeo & Juliet”: Juliet becomes the active protagonist
In the original play, Julia is actually a fairly passive role. She sits around in her room for a relatively long time, lets her nurse carry her concerns out into the world, waits and doesn’t have much spoken text that isn’t about Romeo. Of course we don’t want to bring it to the stage one-to-one. Especially not when Julia is one of only three female roles with spoken text. So if you want to stick to the classic original lyrics and scenes (and we absolutely want to), the question arises as to the interpretation of the role. In our musical, Julia’s speaking time is increased by beautiful songs by Peter Plate and Ulf Sommer. What our artistic team told me in the audition for the role of Juliet was that they wanted her tomboy. If you read the play with this in mind, you suddenly read about a young woman who is actively fighting for control and autonomy. Then suddenly she is no longer passive and waiting in her room, but a young woman who is recalcitrant and pubescent. The one who is locked up tries to escape, fails but doesn’t accept it. So in the rehearsals we look for as many decisions as possible that Julia can actively make herself, such as initiating the first kiss between the two.
Nevertheless, one hardly gets to know Juliet apart from Romeo. And of course her texts are mostly about him. Nothing can be changed about that, it’s their love story that is being told. Not more but also not less. A young person who fights for a love that is forbidden for incomprehensible reasons – unfortunately that is still relevant, understandable and we hope it gives many people room to identify.
We want to tell about a real and smart young woman who fights. Who defends herself, is idealistic, who stands by her feelings, listens to her gut feeling and climbs. Just a young woman of today.
We show you a first impression of the musical in the video below!
The new musical by Peter Plate and Ulf Leo Sommer “Romeo & Juliet – Love is everything” runs from March 19th at Berlin’s Stage Theater des Westens. Tickets are available here.