of Shakespeare’s most famous plays gets a 21st century makeover in a new
version of “Romeo and Juliet” which will unfold through Twitter
messages and on the YouTube video website.
Entitled “Such Tweet Sorrow,”
the experiment is a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
and Mudlark, which produces entertainment on mobile telephones.
Organisers have already outlined a
contemporary “narrative arc” loosely based on the original tragedy,
and the cast will improvise the rest through Tweets which have already begun to
appear on the website www.suchtweetsorrow.com.The production will take place
over five weeks and allows for the characters to interact not only among
themselves but also with members of the “audience.”
Each character writes their own
tweets, guided by an existing storyline and diary which outlines where they are
at any moment in the adventure.
And so two families named after the
original adversaries the Montagues and Capulets have loathed each other for
years after a fatal car crash in an unnamed English market town in 2000.
Juliet, played by actress Charlotte
Wakefield, is just turning 16 and wonders whether she should have a birthday
party to celebrate. She posts a video on YouTube showing viewers a typical
Her Twitter name is @julietcap16
while Romeo’s entry into the messaging world comes later as “he is too
busy on his Xbox.”
“We have no real idea of what
the next five weeks will bring, but we are holding onto our seatbelts,”
said Charles Hunter from Mudlark.
Michael Boyd, artistic director of
the RSC, added: “Our ambition is always to connect people with Shakespeare
and bring actors and audiences closer together.
“Mobile phones don’t need to
be the antichrist for theatre. This digital experiment … allows our actors to
use mobiles to tell their stories in real time and reach people wherever they
are in a global theatre.”