Benvolio played by Jonathan Livingstone
Romeo and Juliet (2017)
Written by: William Shakespeare
In his first production at Shakespeare's Globe, Jonathan will be playing Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet.
"When there's violence happening, it's kind of offset by crazy, sexual energy happening! So, for instance, that first fight is really blood thirsty, but then these dancers appear and they're shaking it and it's very sensual."
Taking us through Daniel Kramer's vision for the show, Jonathan talks about age-blind casting, movement and music, and how 'These violent delights have violent ends'...
"If he didn't have the name Montague, he wouldn't be involved. I see him as a pacifist...I'm not quite sure where my Benvolio is going, but I know this is a good base: 'Peace-keeper, peace-keeper. Manage, manage, manage. Put out fires!'
Looking back on his initial impressions of Benvolio, Jonathan discusses how these have evolved in the rehearsal room, the relationships which are important to his character, and his place in the 'ancient grudge'.
"I think we'll try and get it down two hours. The show keeps driving and driving, which Daniel Kramer wants: it's like a whirlwind! The audience will want to breathe and we're not letting you do that, until we allow in the text or in the play or in the moves."
As rehearsals begin for Romeo and Juliet, Jonathan talks to us about his previous experience with Shakespeare, getting on stage for the first time, and the pacing of the show for audience and actor.