Jessie Buckley started out on TV talent show I'd Do Anything, where she came second place in the search for a newcomer to play Nancy in Oliver. She went on to study at RADA and featured in West End productions of A Little Night Music, The Tempest and A Winter's Tale before conquering TV and film with the likes of the BBC's War and Peace and indie film Beast. But it was a starring role in 2019's hit country music drama Wild Rose that propelled Buckley to worldwide fame.
Josh O'Connor is also on the brink of becoming a household name as he plays Prince Charles in the new season of Netflix hit The Crown. He made his name in brooding British romance God's Own Country and sun-kissed ITV series The Durrells. When Culture Whisper interviewed O'Connor earlier this year, he chose 'my friend Jessie Buckley' as the actor he'd most like to cast in a film, adding 'I love Jessie'.
We look forward to seeing this chemistry on stage as the pair play Shakespeare's heady young lovers from rival families. With an elaborate ball, a secret marriage, a conspiring priest and an ancient grudge fuelling new mutiny, Romeo and Juliet resounds with drama, passion and poetry. But it's also one of Shakespeare's best-known plays, so it will be interesting to see how director Simon Godwin makes this production fresh.
Having created successful versions of Twelfth Night and Antony and Cleopatra at the National, featuring the likes of Tamsin Greig and Ralph Fiennes, Godwin has proven credentials with big-budget Shakespeare productions. Typically his direction favours an elegantly modern aesthetic while keeping the Elizabethan language.
This production will be set in modern Italy, where the Capulet/Montague conflict stems from Catholicism clashing with secular values. The romance is set against a world of violence and corruption, which will echo contemporary unrest.
Romeo and Juliet will open at the National Theatre in August 2020. On sale and exact run dates to be announced.
|What||Romeo and Juliet, National Theatre|
|Where||National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
01 Aug 20 – 31 Oct 20, From August 2020, exact dates to be confirmed
|Price||£20 - £89|