Contender Charlie and China Plate present

Romeo and Juliet – Mad Blood Stirring

An action-packed adaptation of Shakespeare’s devastating love story for 9-13 year olds.


Run time: 70 minute adaptation and post-show Q&A with cast

Age: Upper KS2 & lower KS3 (Years 5 – 9) Subjects: English, PSHE

A young man looking off towards the camera, dressed in a friar's outfit, pointing his hand to his chest.

The Stage

4 stars

"The children have had a fantastic introduction to Shakespeare that will hopefully stay with them for the rest of their lives!"

Teacher, Larkrise Primary School, Oxford

A young man and woman face one another; she holds his jacket, while he holds her wrists.

Romeo and Juliet – Mad Blood Stirring

By William Shakespeare
Adapted by Nick Walker

Made for 9 – 13 year olds, by the team behind Macbeth – Blood Will Have Blood.

“I genuinely thought I could end the trouble once and for all. But I got in too deep. And it all ended badly. I am the Friar. God forgive me.”

A troubled Friar rushes us through the mutinous streets of Verona, plunging us into a community torn apart by prejudice, conflict and violent crime.

Gripping story-telling, live music and striking visual effects take young audiences on a heart-wrenching journey as they follow Shakespeare’s star crossed lovers towards their tragic end. Guided through Shakespeare’s original text by the Friar, speaking modern English, this is an unforgettable introduction to his devastating love story.

“Every teacher and child completely inspired today by this production of #RomeoAndJuliet. Every day should be a learning experience like this.” – Haselworth Primary School via Twitter

“Some of our lowest prior attainers and children with special needs were able to accurately retell the story and they were extremely enthusiastic.”
– Deputy Head, Howes Primary School, Coventry

“It’s a gripping interpretation that gives the classic tale a modern resonance… an introduction to the Bard that will resonate with the lives of youngsters. Contender Charlie and China Plate have created a treasure.”Pigeon Pair and Me

“Breath-taking; I’m still overwhelmed by the blinding lights and echoing voices of the skilled actors.”Year 6 pupil

Public shows would also be available.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, The Sir Barry Jackson Trust and Backstage Trust.

Photo © The Other Richard

Booking Information

For schools, the production comes with an education package to deepen engagement with the show and its themes beyond the theatrical experiences and extend students’ learning into the classroom.

The package aims to:

  • Show how the production is relevant and relatable to students’ lives
  • Enables conversations around important issues affecting children and young people today;
  • Support the development of their creativity, resilience, emotional intelligence and autonomy
  • Connect to the English and PSHE curriculum at both upper Key Stage 2 and lower Key Stage 3

Previously this has included a post-show Q&A with the cast (hot-seating session) that explored the motivations of the characters, an interactive online resource and a teacher CPD session.

Free Arts Award Discover and Explore arts logs have been created for this production, they can be found in the Downloads section below.

For further information about this production and our Shakespeare adaptations, please email [email protected]

For schools

We want to ensure that all audience members feel welcome and are able to make the most out of their experience at the theatre. If you would like to discuss particular access or inclusion requirements, including those for special school groups and pupil referral units, please get in touch on [email protected].

Cast & Creative Team

A man kneeling down, dressed in costume, talking to a group of school children.

Contender Charlie

Contender Charlie uses storytelling & mythology to enhance & inspire the creative learning of young people.

Read more
  • Mercutio | Jack Brett
  • Tybalt | Chay February
  • The Friar | Nathan Medina
  • Romeo | Adam Newington
  • Juliet | Anna Soden
  • Directors | Ben Walden & Paul Warwick
  • Designer | Helen Coyston
  • Lighting & Video Designer | Arnim Friess
  • Sound Design & Sound Score | Alexandra Faye Braithwaite
  • Composer, Lyricist & Musical Director | Ella Grace
  • Sound Associate | Chris Murray
  • Casting | Anji Carroll CDG
  • Fight Director | Claire Llewellyn
  • Production Manager | Chris Whitwood
  • Stage Manager | Martha Mamo
  • Filmmaker | Rachel Bunce
  • Producer | China Plate

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Schools & Colleges

We offer opportunities across the UK through our touring shows for students to be audiences, artists and/or participants, alongside support for teachers through our resources and activities.

View page

Mad Blood Stirring: Beyond the show

19th February 2019

Our Engagement & Participation Producer Andrea, discusses the online resources for Romeo & Juliet - Mad Blood Stirring.

Written by Andrea