Tickets are flying off the shelves for this summer’s production of Romeo and Juliet to celebrate 30 years of Shakespeare productions at Stafford Castle.
The production which is due to take place between June 24th and July 9th has already sold 5000 tickets of the 11,000 available for sale. Several shows have sold out already and there are waiting lists for afternoon performances.
Work has now begun on building the set and stage, which has been specially designed to make use of the stunning backdrop of the castle.
A new seating layout has also been introduced, with two grandstands separated into Montagues and Capulets, which will give improved sightlines on previous shows and bring the audience closer to the actors.
Production Manager Richard Goodman, who has worked on 10 previous Shakespeare plays at the castle, said: ‘It’s a really ingenious stage and a fantastic use of space.
‘There will be lots of things happening that we’ve never done and the design aspect has really gone into overdrive this year.
The production will star Madeleine Leslay (from BBC’s The Archers) as Juliet and Tom Lane as Romeo, backed by a strong supporting cast led by Gill Jordan (best known for her comic creation Doreen Tipton) as the nurse.
Director Tim Ford said: ‘We’ve spoken a lot about the tremendous cast, but behind the scenes there’s a brilliant creative team as well, working on the lighting, sound and effects.
‘It’s going to be a visual treat and we can’t wait for the opening night.’
Tim added: ‘To have sold 5,000 tickets at this stage is unheard of and just shows the appetite in the area for a high-quality production.
‘It’s a really exciting and positive response and shows how much people have missed the Shakespeare plays – there’s a great buzz around the town for its return this year.’