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Romeo and Juliet - Lauderdale House

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THEATRE on the Tea Lawn returns to Lauderdale House this Summer (July 29 to August 8, 2014) with a fresh and modern interpretation of Romeo and Juliet by the award-winning Shooting Stars Theatre Company whose productions have delighted audiences at the venue since 2012.

Muswell Hill based Artistic Director Helen Crosse’ shows are known for clear storytelling and boundless energy, and are specifically designed for the open air. She says: “Performing outside, under the stars, really brings Shakespeare to life. It includes the audience in the performance, they become part of it.”

In addition to treating Shakespeare lovers to a magical al fresco evening in the beautiful Waterlow Park in the shadow of the historic Lauderdale House, this production offers an excellent ‘first taste’ of Shakespeare for everyone from the age of 10+.

This year’s show choice is all the more romantic as Helen recently married East Finchley based actor Mike Totton, whom she first met when he auditioned for her eight years ago. Impressed by his acting skills she was soon impressed by his personality too and they have regularly worked together ever since!

Not unlike the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet, the historic Lauderdale House is no stranger to illicit affairs. Lord Lauderdale separated from his wife in 1669 after he was caught having an affair with the Countess of Dysart of Ham House in Richmond. And Actress Nell Gwynn, the infamous mistress of King Charles II, lived there in 1670 when she was ‘sent to the country’ to give birth to his son!

Romeo and Juliet is also touring to the White Horse in Stourpaine, Dorset and RSC Dell Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon where the company has previously won awards for ‘Best Theatrical Production at the Stratford Fringe Festival.

For one night only, Friday, August 1, Lauderdale House will be offering a special VIP romantic picnic for two including a bottle of wine and VIP benefits for the evening. All proceeds help to fund the building project, Lauderdale Transformed.

Tickets: Chairs: £14 (£12 concessions); Picnic Lawn: £12 (£10 concessions); Family Ticket: £35 (2 adults and 2 children); Group Discount: Buy 10 tickets, get 1 free. To book, call the box office on 020 8348 8716 or visit www.lauderdalehouse.co.uk/.

Time: 7pm (ends at 9pm).

NB: Shows are only cancelled in very extreme circumstances. There are no refunds although if the show is abandoned before the interval, a ticket for another night is offered subject to availability. Picnics are welcome. Food is not available but there is a bar serving wine, beers, soft drinks and tea and coffee.

Lauderdale House is at a critical point in its history, needing £500k from donations in order to secure its future, transform its facilities and enhance its heritage.For more information and how to donate visit www.lauderdalehouse.org.uk/.