Skip to 0 minutes and 14 secondsSo we performed in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. Again, most of those performances were for teenagers out there, as well, which was incredible. It's always great to tour, and to perform to different communities, and in different countries. It's fantastic. We had to change some of the production a little bit, just out of respect. When we were in the Middle East, we didn't kiss on the lips-- Romeo and Juliet. We kissed on the hands. And we just adapted it a little bit, just so it could be more relatable to them, and less alien. There was a bit of a difference, I suppose, with the audiences in the Middle East, compared to London. They were a lot quieter in the Middle East.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 secondsYou could see them, and they were with us. They were responding. But at the end, the uproar and the applause was incredible, and the smiles were incredible. And then when we performed in London, the people-- the young people, particularly-- were very loud and engaged, vocally, throughout-- really going with the production-- shouting along with the show. I did think about the fact that Juliet does talk back to her parents. She does go against her parents' wishes. I love that. And I found that that the young people that we were performing to loved that.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 secondsIt was when we had some older audiences, and parents were in that I did think, are we kind of teaching your children something that you don't really want them to be taught? But actually, I loved it, because I didn't think that Juliet necessarily did anything wrong. And so, I didn't feel like it was a bad thing. She was just going with her heart and her passion. And the girls really loved seeing this wonderfully strong, confident, joyful girl on stage. It was all the things that they could be, in many ways. They could look at how she is trying to be good. She is good. She's a good girl, but she's fallen in love. And that feeling-- it's taken over her.

Skip to 2 minutes and 34 secondsAnd it does mean she does get into trouble with her parents. But I think that, especially the girls, really back Juliet-- both in the Middle East, and here in the UK.

Performing Romeo and Juliet in the Middle East

Jade talks about playing the role of Juliet in the UK and other countries.

  • What differences does she mention about the performances and the reactions in different countries?
  • What similarities does she mention?

Do you think stories like Romeo and Juliet are truly universal? Are there any similar love stories in your country’s literature?

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring English: Shakespeare

British Council