Swashbuckling Shakespeare

SWASHBUCKLING action will bring Shakespeare’s greatest romantic tragedy to life in a dramatic setting this summer.

The Irving Stage Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet will play out against the stunning backdrop of St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s cloisters in Bury St Edmunds in July.

Tim Lodge, the play’s director, has taken a course in stage swordplay to inject passion and flair into the infamous fight scenes between the brawling Capulets and Montagues.

“Romeo and Juliet has got intensive and exciting fight scenes,” he said. “It has got to be spectacular and great to look at.

Mr Lodge, of nearby Walsham-le-Willows, picked up tips in stage combat at the course run by Young Blood Theatre Company in London.

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He learned the basics of sword handling, he learnt how to ‘kill and be killed’, skills which he is passing on to his team of young actors. He has now bought eight replica swords and four daggers to add panache to the period drama, which will be performed on a reproduction Elizabethan stage.

Live musicians will perform original 16th-Century music in the unique production, which will run from July 15 to 17.

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Tickets are available through the Theatre Royal box office on 01284 769505 or online at www.theatreroyal.org

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