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A Study of Past and Creation of
Future Scenographic Designs for
Romeo and Juliet
Niamh Birkett
About Romeo and Juliet
• Written by William Shakespeare.
• Date of writing unknown, believed to be around 1591-1595.
• First performance date also unknown, but was before 1597.
• First official production at ‘The Theatre’, while earlier performances
took place in ‘The Curtain’.
• First Shakespeare play to be performed outside of England –
Nördlingen, Germany in 1604.
• Elizabethan Theatre, e.g. The
Globe Theatre
• Based on Roman Amphitheatre
• Actors were very ‘animated’
• Costumes were current at the
time – no matter when the
play was set
Royal Shakespeare Company, Scarlet & Gray Theatre (New York), 2010,
Dir. Rupert Goold
• Classic-style costume
• Simple set featuring a balcony, emphasised by light
Modern Productions
Corcadorca, Cork Opera House, 2012, Dir. Pat Kiernan
• Modern set (emphasized by the lighting) and costumes
• Use of projections
• Less exaggerated style of acting and modern technical aspects helped
audiences to connect to the piece
• Used the audience and general public to help create a modern feel to
the show (Declarations of Love and community cast)[email protected]/with/9494300398/
Gate Theatre (Dublin), 2015, Dir. Wayne Jordan
• Sticks very closely to the plot by changing the language and staging to
something a lot more modern
• Huge shift in atmosphere between first and second act
• Use of simple movement and dance
• Symbolism seen in set and costumes
Style One - Cinematic
• Inspired by Robert Wilson and his use of light, structure of simple
movement, and the classic style of his furniture/set design.
• Offers a contemporary audience an immersive view into a classic
• Features many small details that can be picked up on screen, but has
a different impact when seen together on stage.
• Lighting and set show the delicate, romantic tone between the main
• Intricate design
• Warm colours in scenes between
Romeo and Juliet
• Set to almost mirror a real building –
could even set it in an old country
house/castle (site specific)
Style Two - Symbolic
• Based on the Symbolism movement of the 19th century
• Use of shadows and projection
• Less detail – allows simple movements and small details to stand out
• One solid structure
on stage (balcony)
can be used for many
• Simplistic design
• Promotes audience
engagement and
Web, Accessed 26/02/17.
• Web,
Accessed 26/02/17.
• Web, Accessed 26/02/17.
• Web, Accessed 25/02/17.
• Web,
Accessed 25/02/17.
• Web, Accessed 25/02/17.