What happens next for Lady Montague and Lady Capulet? Find out in Brighton...

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Loyalty – Lady Montague and Lady Capulet runs May 29 & 30 and June 1 & 2 at 6.45pm for one hour, at Bar Broadway (Off Broadway – upstairs venue) Steine Street, Brighton BN2 1TY, a show which emerged through a conversation between Susanne Crosby and Samantha Nixon.

Samantha said she had an idea for a show about Lady Montague and Lady Capulet after the end of Romeo and Juliet.

“I suddenly started seeing the show in my mind, and I got goosebumps all over,” Susanne says.

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“We were having lunch, Samantha Nixon and I, after we had finished performing in Identity Theatre’s “Under Milk Wood” at Brighton Open Air Theatre in the June last year. Sam is a wonderful actress and a talented singer and has put on productions all over the UK, her “Practically Perfect” show about Julie Andrews having toured extensively to wonderful praise and critical acclaim. As an established playwright and actor myself I was overjoyed to be collaborating on something so fresh and exciting that immediately inspired me. What was even stranger was that we both had similar ideas about who these women are, so much that we were virtually finishing each other’s sentences.

Loyalty – Lady Montague and Lady Capulet (contributed pic)Loyalty – Lady Montague and Lady Capulet (contributed pic)
Loyalty – Lady Montague and Lady Capulet (contributed pic)

“Romeo and Juliet is of course the most famous love story of all time – and we know they are from rival and feuding families. But the mothers? They married into those families, so they weren’t feuding. Shakespeare tells us precious little about the mothers: Lady Montague has three lines and Lady Capulet has one scene, in which it’s clear that Juliet is closer to her Nanny than to her mother, and that everyone is keen to obey Lord Capulet. We found ourselves asking the same questions: why is she distant from her daughter, beyond the fact of the times they live in? What if these two women were actually friends before they married, and they were forced apart through duty and obligation, and loyalty to their husbands?

“The play we have developed over the year explores so many things about being a woman, a wife and a mother, and the whole gamut of emotions that all of us experience in the many roles we take on as humans. It explores how we are so eager to blame when we are hurt and grieving, how misunderstandings can lead to bitterness and how things can be healed if we are brave enough to be honest and open and communicate our true feelings. “I’ve missed you” is what we want to say. Underneath all these layers of responsibility there is the young girl who played in the park with you. Who still has hopes and dreams. And it’s never too late to rediscover who you are, whatever your life looks like.

“What we distilled through working on this, and what we are so happy to now share with everyone, go from confrontations to hidden agendas to secrets being revealed which have been buried for 20 years; plus, enormous fun. We meet the young girls who played in the park, we see them having fun and how they became friends in the first place. Every time at rehearsals we are laughing, crying, running around madly as eight year old children. It’s serious but it’s also great fun, and we are sure that this will inspire people as much as it’s inspired us. We can’t wait to share it.”

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Loyalty – Lady Montague and Lady Capulet runs 29 & 30 May and 1 & 2 June at 6.45pm for one hour, at Bar Broadway (Off Broadway – upstairs venue) Steine Street, Brighton BN2 1TY. Tickets are £12 or £10 concessions from www.brightonfringe.org tel 01273 917 272.

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