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Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company's ROMEO AND JULIET to Be Broadcast Live in Theaters Worldwide Tonight

The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company in partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment, will broadcast Romeo and Juliet to more than 1200 cinemas worldwide live from the West End's Garrick Theatre at 19:00 today, Thursday July 7th. Participating cinemas and screening dates can be found at branaghtheatrelive.com

The broadcast of Romeo and Juliet follows that of The Winter's Tale on 26 November 2015, which topped the UK cinema box office when it was broadcast to 520 cinemas across the country.

Reuniting the stars of the celebrated film Cinderella, Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford direct Shakespeare?s heartbreaking tale of forbidden love. The full cast of Romeo and Juliet, the sixth production in the Plays at the Garrick season includes Lily James (Juliet), Richard Madden (Romeo) and Derek Jacobi (Mercutio) and Meera Syal (The Nurse).

The cinema broadcast of Romeo and Juliet will be presented in high-contrast black and white, and is directed by Benjamin Caron who has also recently collaborated with Kenneth Branagh on the final series of Wallander (BBC).

Lily James, who plays Juliet, said, "The live broadcast is so exciting because it gets the play out of the Garrick Theatre and across the world, opening it up to an entirely different audience. It's great to get a younger audience in too, with the cheap tickets available for students. My brother will be watching in Australia!

When Ken first talked to me about Romeo and Juliet he described how we would really try and capture the thriller aspect of the story and set it in 1950's Italy, firmly in the world of la dolce vita. The feel would be monochromatic, like those beautiful old black and white movies of that time, and it all immediately felt very filmic anyway. Howard Hudson has done such a brilliant job with the lighting and Christopher Oram's set is so atmospheric and realistic, so hopefully the play will translate well to the cinema.

I really think it's so exciting to see Shakespeare on film and to watch plays displaced from their original setting into a New Medium. I can't wait!"

The full cast includes Marisa Berenson (Lady Capulet), Jack Colgrave Hirst (Benvolio), Tom Hanson (Paris), Matthew Hawksley (Anthony), Derek Jacobi (Mercutio), Lily James (Juliet), Taylor James (Prince), Ansu Kabia (Tybalt), Richard Madden (Romeo), Racheal Ofori (Potpan), Nikki Patel (Balthasar), Chris Porter (Lord Montague), Zoë Rainey (Lady Montague), Michael Rouse (Lord Capulet), Meera Syal (The Nurse), Sam Valentine (Friar Laurence) and Kathryn Wilder (Peter).

John Osborne's The Entertainer, which will be the final production in the Plays at the Garrick season (20 August - 12 November) and will star Kenneth Branagh, Jonah Hauer-King, John Hurt, Sophie McShera and Greta Scacchi, will be broadcast to cinemas live on Thursday 27 October 2016.

The Winter's Tale, Harlequinade / All On Her Own, Red Velvet, The Painkiller, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer make up the seven-play season of work for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. For more information please see branaghtheatre.com.

Photo by Johan Persson



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