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Preview: Romeo and Juliet at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Young Dance Talent From The North East To Star In World Premiere Of Matthew Bourne’s Romeo And Juliet

Matthew Bourne's Romeo and Juliet
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Wednesday 9 - Saturday 12 October 2019

Matthew Bourne’s pioneering dance company New Adventures has cast six young dancers from the North East in its world premiere production of Romeo and Juliet which will appear at Newcastle Theatre Royal in October 2019.

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet is a passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic love story. Bursting with youth, vitality and Matthew Bourne’s trademark storytelling, Britain’s brightest young dance talent join the New Adventures company for this World Premiere production.

As part of New Adventures’ ambition to support the next generation of on-stage talent the Romeo and Juliet UK tour will feature the finest emerging male and female dancers from each UK region. The search began in April 2018 with a call-out for young dancers currently in training aged between 16 and 19. Attracting over 1000 applications and following a UK-wide audition tour, local Young Cast members will perform at each venue alongside the New Adventures company.

During the show’s run at Newcastle Theatre Royal, the six Young Cast members will include: Louis Baxter from Bishop Auckland, Sam Curruthers from Whitley Bay, Kayleigh Oborka-Letman from Germany but now living in Newcastle, Lisa Robinson from Durham, Andrew Scott from  Sunderland and Chloe Shutt from Darlington.

Matthew Bourne said today: New Adventures’ Romeo and Juliet will be a celebration of youthful energy, talent and creativity both on and off-stage and, uniquely, in all aspects of Choreography, Design and Music through the appointment of a series of “Young Associate Artists”.   As we enter our fourth decade as a company I’m finding the development of young talent ever more important and fulfilling. Our new company of Romeo and Juliet features a staggering 97 young dancers making their debuts with us; some are joining us as part of their third year of training, others have come through our Company initiatives such as ‘Swan School’, ‘A Summer Adventure’ and of course, our production of Lord of the Flies which inspired so many young men to seek careers in dance. This time we have focused on nurturing young male and female dancers, and I have been overwhelmed by the talent that we have had to choose from throughout the UK. I’m particularly happy to be working alongside my Young Associate Choreographer, Arielle Smith, an exceptional young dancemaker of great maturity and vision. In turn, after 30 years as a professional choreographer, I look forward to being refreshed and inspired by what this team of young artists will bring to Shakespeare’s classic tale of tragic conflict and young love”. 

The title roles of ‘Romeo’ and ‘Juliet’ will be played by six New Adventures rising stars and two exciting new dancers making their professional debuts.

Creating the role of Juliet will be Cordelia Braithwaite, currently performing as ‘Cinderella’ on the international tour; Seren Williams, who joined New Adventures in 2016 with Matthew Bourne’s award-winning production of The Red Shoes and Bryony Harrison who is making her debut with New Adventures on tour with Matthew Bourne’s legendary production of Swan Lake.

The role of Romeo will be created by Andrew Monaghan, currently ‘The Pilot’ in Cinderella, Paris Fitzpatrick who is playing the ‘Angel’ in Cinderella and João Carolino who joined the company in 2017 with Early Adventures.

Making their professional debuts with the company are Harrison Dowzell, as ‘Romeo’, who auditioned for the Young Cast in Nottingham, and Bryony Wood, as ‘Juliet’, discovered during the Young Cast auditions in Southampton. Both are in their graduate years at Performers College and Tring Park School for the Performing Arts respectively.

They are joined by leading New Adventures artists, Madelaine Brennan, Daisy May Kemp, Danny Reubens and Daniel Wright who will create the ‘adult’ world of Romeo and Juliet.

Ben Brown, Reece Causton, Jackson Fisch, Kate Lyons, Stephen Murray and Mark Samaras will come to this production direct from our USA Tour of Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella.

New Adventures is committed to finding and developing diverse young talent from across the UK. Since Lord of the Flies in 2014 New Adventures has been supporting young dancers from this production on their journey into training and professional work.  The company have delivered various initiatives, including ‘Swan School’, two week-long intensives designed to prepare graduate level dancers for the audition process.

Continuing New Adventures’ commitment to developing off-stage talent, a team of Young Associate Artists have been recruited to work alongside the Artistic team in the creation of this world premiere production. Arielle Smith joins as Young Associate Choreographer; Elin Steele as Young Associate Set & Costume Designer and Ali Hunter as Young Associate Lighting Designer.

Romeo And Juliet is directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, collaborating with his entire New Adventures Associate Artistic team; Etta Murfitt, Associate Artistic Director, set and costume design by Lez Brotherston; lighting by Paule Constable; sound by Paul Groothuis; and new orchestrations of the Prokofiev score by Terry Davies, played live at every venue by The New Adventures Orchestra conducted by Brett Morris.

The six North East dancers:

Louis Baxter was born in Bishop Auckland and lives in Newton Aycliffe.  He is training at Dance City CAT for the Dance City BTEC. Having seen “Lord of the Flies” in 2014 he thought being part of the Young Cast for “Romeo and Juliet” would be an amazing experience and opportunity to work with a professional team of dancers along with other dancers of his own age.

Sam Curruthers was born in Carlisle and lives in Whitley Bay. He returns to the Theatre Royal having been part of the Young Cast for “Lord of the Flies” in 2014. He wanted to be part of the Young Cast for “Romeo and Juliet” to continue to improve his skills and challenge himself in a professional production.

Kayleigh Oborka-Letman was born in Germany and lives in Newcastle. She is training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance. She is an aspiring choreographer and this production felt like a great opportunity to learn from the best.

Lisa Robinson was born in Bishop Auckland and lives in Durham.  She is training at Dance City Newcastle and Nadines Dance Company. From a young age she has had an ardent passion for dance and performance. She respects and adores how refreshing, unique, inspiring and ground-breaking New Adventures productions continue to be and couldn’t let the opportunity to grow and learn pass her by.

Andrew Scott was born in Sunderland and lives in London training at the London Contemporary School of Dance.    He has always been a massive fan of Matthew Bourne’s work.  He loves the twists he puts on the original storyline.  It is an amazing opportunity to be part of one of his productions and is looking forward to the whole process, topped off by the chance to perform at the Theatre Royal alongside New Adventures.

Chloe Shutt was born in Darlington and lives in Newton Aycliffe.  She is training at Dance City, Newcastle.  She wanted to be part of the Young Cast for “Romeo and Juliet” because as an emerging dancer in training the opportunity provides a great insight into the professional world on such a huge scale with an amazingly creative and world-renowned company.

On The Web:

Romeo and Juliet is at Newcastle Theatre Royal for four nights only between Wednesday 9 and Saturday 12 October 2019 playing evenings at 7.30pm and matinees on Weds & Thurs at 2pm and Sat at 2.30pm.  Early booking is advisable.  Tickets from £17.50 can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge) or book online at

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