Mollie Fyfe Taylor is delighted it’s a traditionally-costumed production of Romeo & Juliet she joins with GB Theatre Company on tour.
They bring their latest productions once again to the Arundel Festival, this year As You Like It on Friday, August 26, and Romeo & Juliet on Saturday, August 27, with Mollie in the role of Juliet.
“I haven’t performed with the company before,” says Mollie, “but I had heard of them through friends and other people. I found out they were casting, and looking at their website, I could see that their productions were precisely the kind of productions I like to perform in, Shakespeare in traditional dress.
“Quite often you see it done in modern dress, but the traditional aspect really appealed to me. It’s good to be getting into the period dress. It’s great fun, but also it adds to the elegance and charm of it all and also making the whole thing just pop out and come alive.”
Also it helps make much better sense of the tale of the famously star-crossed lovers, a pairing who are distinctly underage if you start to apply more modern standards.
“Plus the good thing about this production is that it is very much an ensemble piece, and so it is good to see how Romeo and Juliet are involved in other people’s stories as well within the whole thing. You see how all the characters help to drive the whole tragedy.
“What I love about Juliet is her journey. It’s a really great role for an actress as you follow her way through the play. It is her growing up. It is the story of her becoming a woman. She meets Romeo and she falls head over heels in love or lust with him and they decide to get married. But there is all the family background, and it is the most fantastic journey. That’s why it has to be an ensemble piece, to get the full story. We are focusing on the idea of whether or not it is fate. It is such a whirlwind that they just get caught up in the moment.
“It’s a very fast-paced production. It needs to be. It is acting on the emotion, and it is just boom, boom, boom, boom as you whiz through the story and Romeo and Juliet get caught up in it all.
“I think what I have to put across as Juliet is her integrity, that she very much has her own mind. She is feisty. She is not afraid, and she is very honest.
“It is very important for the audience to warm to both Romeo and Juliet. You have also got to talk to the audience. There are a lot of monologues.
“ It is about engaging with the audience to help them understand her, and the great thing is that it is developing all the time. Every show we do, we are learning more about the characters. With each venue, we are finding new things to work with.”
Part of the skill too is adapting to the changing demands which come with the changing venues – all part of the fun as far as Mollie is concerned. Among those demands might just be the weather.
“But we are actually quite prepared to carry on regardless of the weather for as long as the audience are prepared to stay.”
The same company also performs As You Like It with Mollie stepping into the roles of Audrey and Amiens.
As You Like It is on Friday, August 26 and Romeo & Juliet is on Saturday, August 27; 5.30pm castle grounds open for picnics; 6.30pm The Collector Earl’s Garden gates open; 7.30pm performances start; www.arundelcastle.org; running time: two hours with 30 min interval.
Tickets on www.gbtheatrecompany.com.