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Romeo and Juliet at The Actors' Hub

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Shakespeare gender swap for Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, The Actors' Hub, same sex marriage, play, theatre, gender, gay, lesbian, performing arts
Love under watch in Romeo and Juliet, featuring Jared Stephenson, Stephanie Bedford, Tia Rose and Quintus Olsthoorn.


One of Shakespeare's most popular and well-known plays will soon come alive at The Actors' Hub with a twist. Directed by Amanda Crewes, Romeo and Juliet is regarded as the most famous love story in English literary history.

Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, The Actors' Hub, same sex marriage, play, theatre, gender, gay, lesbian, performing arts
Patrick Truman-Healy, second from left, and Sam Barbas as the two famed lovers in Romeo and Juliet, under the watch of Jared Stephenson and Quintus Olsthoorn.

"Romeo and Juliet explores the theme of forbidden love, so I wanted to look at the text in terms of what's still often considered forbidden love today," Amanda said. "That brought me to our current, very cloudy view on same sex relationships. I wanted to determine whether changing the gender changed our view on this love story."

Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, The Actors' Hub, same sex marriage, play, theatre, gender, gay, lesbian, performing arts
A confrontation between the two fathers, Jared Stephenson (left) and Quintus Olsthoorn (right), as their two children (Jared Stephenson and Patrick Truman-Healy) in love watch on.


In this version, there are two casts with Romeo and Juliet played by women one night, followed by men the next. "We want to honour what it universally means to be in love and explore the dangers of extremist views," Amanda said.

Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, The Actors' Hub, same sex marriage, play, theatre, gender, gay, lesbian, performing arts
Romeo and Juliet presents two families at war played by Ava Lyas, left, Jared Stephenson, Quintus Olsthoorn and Gillian Mosenthal, right) as their two children (Patrick Truman-Healy and Sam Barbas) embark on a relationship.


She said this interpretation of Romeo and Juliet offered a whole new perspective but was also grounded in an existing awareness. "We know this story, we know how it ends, we know what the lessons are and yet when presented with the situation today we still, more often than not, withhold our tolerance and forbearance," Amanda said. "This is an issue we need to start talking about because stories of forbidden love are still ending in death."

Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare, The Actors' Hub, same sex marriage, play, theatre, gender, gay, lesbian, performing arts
The two families at odds in Romeo and Juliet, played by Stephanie Bedford, Ava Lyas, Chloe Gaskell, Patrick Truman-Healy, Kyle Kash, Jared Stephenson, Tia Rose, Quintus Olsthoorn, Sam Barbas, Tahlia Hart, Makayla Deacon, David Doig and Gillian Mosenthal.


Romeo and Juliet plays 7pm November 28, 29, 30 and December 1. Tickets are $30, $25 concession book at www.trybooking.com/ZHQW. The Actors' Hub is at 129 Kensington Street, East Perth.

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Why? This is innovation at its best taking a 400-year-old text and giving it a hugely contemporary spin, putting the issue of same sex relationships firmly front and centre.
When: 7pm November 28, 29, 30, December 1
Where: The Actors' Hub, 129 Kensington Street, East Perth
Cost: $30, $25 concession
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