Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

George Mackay, Simon Callow, Jade Anouka, and More Will Lead the Cast of ReadThrough of ROMEO & JULIET

The reading will be immediately followed by a Q&A with the cast.

Casting has been announced for the upcoming online live read-through of Romeo & Juliet. The event takes place on Thursday 11th March 2021, bringing to life William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet and free to watch for all school-age students across the UK.

The full cast for Romeo & Juliet will feature George MacKay (Romeo), Donna Banya (Juliet), Simon Callow (Friar Lawrence & Montague), Kayla Meikle (Nurse), Pandora Colin (Lady Capulet), Colin Ryan (Benvolio), Edward Franklin (Prince Escalus & Apothecary), Jade Anouka (Mercutio & Abraham), Nari Blair-Mangat (Tybalt) and Alasdair Buchan (Paris & Gregory).

The reading will be immediately followed by a Q&A with the cast, and schools wishing to sign up should visit:

The questions for the Q&A will be student and teacher led - if you would like to submit questions on behalf of your pupils please email them to

George MacKay said: "It is a privilege to be joining the ReadThrough team and initiative; to be a part of a shared moment, and to learn from it is a beautiful thing, ReadThrough is helping students to collaborate in that with these readings and discussions."

The ReadThrough founders said: "We're utterly thrilled to have attracted another superb cast for our next live ReadThrough. We've been inundated since we launched and were thrilled students and schools found the first live readthrough so useful. We've also created and started provided tailor-made workshops for schools around the UK and our fundraising efforts will hopefully help us to run many more over the coming months."

ReadThrough was set up by a group of professionals from television, film and theatre and launched last month, offering online play readings and school workshops designed to improve the comprehension of exam-body English plays for students across the UK, with a particular focus on students from less privileged backgrounds.

ReadThrough will work with schools across the country to offer full readings of curriculum texts, performed live via digital platforms for as many students as possible, using professional actors and directors. The organisation also offers bespoke workshop sessions where they can take over English/Drama lessons and concentrate on a selection of scenes with the students that are performed, dissected and discussed, and there is the additional possibility for students to read in for parts. The team have been running bespoke workshops for schools across the UK in recent weeks, many of which have been provided for free to schools, which has been made possible by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

More than 26,000 students and teachers logged on for the first-ever live ReadThrough event held on Thursday 11th Feb, with a cast including Joe Lycett, Pearl Mackie, Remmie Milner and Esther Smith performing Macbeth to aide student's comprehension of the curriculum text. The team were inundated with interest for the first live reading, with 624 schools signing up (students had to sign up via their schools for safe-guarding and performance rights purposes).

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on both education and the arts. Whilst the UK has been in lockdown many students have struggled to study at home and any access that previously existed to live, in-person learning, either at a theatre or via theatre-in-education, has been impeded. ReadThrough is built on the belief that seeing a story brought to life enriches the learning process and gives far greater insight into themes, context and characters within the text. The team behind ReadThrough have seen first-hand how the live reading and discussion of exam texts can enhance students' understanding of curriculum texts and enrich their learning experience, and live readings performed online provide all students with access to first-class cast and performances to enhance their studies.

Even outside of the pandemic, theatre can be inaccessible to some and ReadThrough wants to help level the playing field regardless of a school or student's personal circumstances, supporting their progress in English, Drama and other relevant studies.

Already a number of high-profile figures from across the industry have voiced their support for ReadThrough, including Dame Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Simon Callow, Amma Asante, Youssef Kerkour, Shazad Latif and Dame Harriet Walter. On the launch of ReadThrough, Dame Emma Thompson said: 'As remote learning has become a necessity of our current situation, I can think of no better or more engaging use of it than what ReadThrough are doing. With this in mind, I whole-heartedly endorse ReadThrough's mission - that if schools can't go to the theatre, then they will bring the theatre to them, regardless of the school they attend or the part of the country they live in.' Stephen Fry added: 'Sometimes you hear about an idea and you find the only correct response is to smack your forehead. Of course! ReadThrough is just such a winner of an idea. Please do everything you can to help us all make ReadThrough a living reality.' Amma Asante commented: 'I'm delighted to voice my support for ReadThrough, a fantastic idea that can hopefully help inspire students without access to theatre and live performance. I know from my own childhood how vital it is to see texts brought to life by readings and performance, and I sincerely hope ReadThrough will offer young people a way to enjoy and better comprehend the texts they're studying.'

ReadThrough received an initial tranche of funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, which will allow them to offer their services to of some of the most disadvantaged comprehensive schools for free. They also recently raised a further £10,000 via a Kickstarter campaign, but fundraising efforts continue, and all money raised goes directly into offering more workshops to schools and students that need it.

Schools can sign up for the live Readthrough of Romeo Juliet on 11th March by going to

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More UK Regional Stories

More Hot Stories For You