Audio, Romeo and Juliet

Beneath Juliet's balcony, Romeo dreams of the future

Thanks for following our competition about the world of our star-cross’d lovers. As a reward to all of you let me offer a peek at the finished work.

We have to have the balcony scene, though it’s not going to go quite the way you might expect. This is a freewheeling adaptation of both Shakespeare and his original Italian sources. It’s not fan fiction or Shakespeare simplified so expect more than a few surprises.

The banquet’s over. Romeo and Juliet have met and had a rather more extended courtship than the nineteen lines allotted to them in Act One, Scene Five of the play.

Romeo’s loitered around the city and been drawn back to the Capulet palazzo, unable to get Juliet out of his mind. We are learning more about him. He’s not quite the head-in-the-air fey lad we met at the beginning, pining for the unavailable Rosaline. There’s a sense of determination about him now. He’s encountered Juliet. He’s decided she’s the love of his life. He’s intent this beautiful prize he longs for will not escape him under any circumstances. She, in turn, facing the forced marriage with Paris, is very taken with this funny, bumbling would-be poet who’s risked his life to find his way into her home.

He’s a likeable young chap. Romantic, dreamy, well-intentioned and, once his mind is set on Juliet, utterly devoted to her. It’s easy to forget in these early scenes that he’s also a creature of his time. Someone who’s grown up on the dangerous streets of Verona and never goes anywhere without his rapier and dagger. Impulsive, reckless, quick to anger if pressed, a teenager through and through in many ways.

Much lies ahead. At this moment his mind is filled with love as he plans to sneak into Juliet’s bedroom and make that clear to her. After that the two of them, with their shared devotion, will heal the rift between Capulet and Montague and end the long vendetta between their two houses. Their good intentions couldn’t be more sincere. But the Wheel of Fortune is always there, ready to grind the most praiseworthy of aspirations to dust.

Though not yet. Romeo steals his way into the Capulet orchard and waits for his moment. Then, as luck would have it, falls fast asleep and dreams…