The first ever Wells Theatre Festival has found its Romeo and Juliet

Two local young budding actors have been successful in their bid to play Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers in Wells Theatre Festival’s community production of Romeo and Juliet this July.

Beth Millward (16) from Shepton Mallet and Julian Laws (15) from Blagdon are preparing for rehearsals which begin in January.

Beth who goes to Strode College has known since she was eight years old that she wanted to become an actor.

“I am so excited to be playing Juliet. I can remember my family always watching me dance and sing in the living room. When I was 8 years old, I was cast as Fagin for a class assembly on Oliver Twist. I was centre stage in front of my whole school and my parents, Pick a Pocket or Two and I wasn’t even nervous!  I enjoyed it so much and said to myself “I want to be a star when I grow up”.

Julian, who is a student at Churchill Academy has studied the play for GCSE. He said: I became interested in theatre a few years ago thanks to my drama teacher at Churchill. I thoroughly enjoyed studying Romeo and Juliet, I think the play is a great representation of tragedy, fate and love.  My favourite quote from the play is ‘my lips two blushing pilgrims’.

Meanwhile directors Rosalind Johnson and Louise Merrifield are on the hunt is still on for a number of the adult roles. Wells Theatre Festival which is supported by Dame Judi Dench and Richard Eyre as its patrons, is still looking for a Lady Capulet and Prince Escalus.

Rosalind Johnson, Founder and Artistic Director of the Festival said: The auditions last week were an absolute revelation and we found same amazing local talent including our wonderful Romeo and Juliet but the search is still on for some other important roles. We are really keen to cast this production entirely from people in the local community but we have yet to find actors for these two important roles. We are looking for men and women in their 40s and 50s. We are also looking for younger actors for ensemble roles.

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