• Mat Kereama of Milford as Romeo and Aria Harrison-Sparke of Greenhithe, playing Juliet.

Star-crossed lovers head for Shakespeare in the Park

Young Shore actors are poised to bring the greatest love story ever told to life this month, whilst audience members are encouraged to share their own love stories. 

Milford's Matt Kereama and Greenhithe's Aria Harrison-Sparke will tread the boards of The PumpHouse Theatre as Rome and Juliet when the annual Shakespeare in the Park season begins on January 20. The love story will run alongside The Comedy of Errors, as the two plays alternate through the season which ends on February 17. 

Devonport's Adam Pomeroy and Greenhithe's Toby Furmanski will star in the Shakepearean comedy, alongside Cora-Joy Summerfield of Long Bay and Greenhithe's Sophie Watson. 

Theatre-goers were also encouraged to get involved beyond watching the productions by Shoreside Theatre, in honour of a tradition hailing from Verona, the Italian setting of Rome and Juliet. 

For decades, people from all over the world have been sharing their love stories, romantic triumphs and heartbreaks in letters to the Casa de Giulietta where the original Juliet Capulet was reputed to have lived. These notes and letters to love are displayed in the courtyard of the home.

The play’s director, James Bell said: “We wanted Aucklanders to write about their own romantic experiences or special emotional anniversaries, so bringing this touching tradition to New Zealand."

He aimed to select the most moving contribution and award the individual a celebratory bottle of wine and two tickets for a Romeo and Juliet performance.

People who were moved to write had to e-mail their efforts to RandJ@shoresidetheatre.com; they were then printed off for display without full names and addresses. (The closing date for entries was January 31, 2018.)

All performances of the 2018 Shakespeare in the Park season are staged early evening in the atmospheric, PumpHouse outdoor amphitheatre. And Shoreside Theatre takes pride in keeping true to Shakespeare’s original text and period to produce an authentic and memorable Shakespearean play experience. 

Tickets for performances can be booked by calling 09 489 8360 or online booking is available at www.pumphouse.co.nz