Many schools have congregated together during a period of a month to watch productions of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at the Globe Theatre, directed by Michael Oakley, as part of the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank scheme.

Over 18,000 secondary school students in London and Birmingham have benefitted from the programme having received free theatre tickets to this production. These free tickets have meant 40,000 people will have seen ‘Romeo and Juliet’ during the four weeks between the 28th of February and the 27th of March. These audience members include Deutsche Bank employees and families who have bought tickets to support this free ticket scheme. The scheme was set up in order for school children to be given the opportunity to go to the theatre and watch plays as Patrick Spottiswoode, the Director of Globe Education, says ‘a theatre trip should be one of five cultural experiences that every student enjoys while at school.’

The cast included Nathan Welsh as Romeo, Charlotte Beaumont as Juliet, Stuart Bowman as Lord Capulet, Shalisha James-Davis as Benvolio, Ayoola Smart as Tybalt, Christopher Chung as Paris/Prince, Jeff Alexander as Friar Lawrence/Lord Montague, Hermione Gulliford as Lady Capulet and Debbie Chazen as Nurse/Lady Montague. Issues explored in Shakespeare’s work are becoming more and more prominent in modern day society especially to young people such as the issue of lovers being from different backgrounds in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. In many ways themes explored in Shakespeare's work can be relatable to a young audience such as that for this particular production at the Globe Theatre.

Not only was the acting and the whole production rather engaging but the casting for this particular production was very diverse, something I personally had seen for the first time in a production of one of Shakespeare's plays. The cast included an array of actors and actresses of different races working together to put on a marvellous production of 'Romeo and Juliet' which in the past would have probably included an a cast of the same race, as would have been done during Elizabethan times. This in a way made the piece of theatre even better for such a diverse audience from schools of a variety of London Boroughs.