Hull Truck Theatre to stage open-air Romeo & Juliet at Hull’s @TheDock

Last Updated on 10 June 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

Mark Babych’s new production of Romeo & Juliet for Hull Truck Theatre brings together Hull-born husband and wife Jordan Metcalfe and Laura Elsworthy

Romeo Juliet Hull Truck
Laura Elsworthy and Jordan Metcalfe

Hull Truck Theatre is to present an open-air production of Romeo & Juliet this summer, starring real-life couple, Jordan Metcalfe and Laura Elsworthy.

Shakespeare’s play will be performed at Stage @TheDock, a converted dockyard space, from 15 July to 7 August, with press night on 20 July. It will directed by Hull Truck’s artistic director, Mark Babych.

The production will also be available to watch online as a live stream on Saturday 24 July and then on demand from 25 July to 7 August.

Metcalfe and Elsworthy were both born and bred in Hull. Although they grew up around the corner from each other, they became a couple when they returned to Hull in 2017 to perform in Richard Bean’s comedy, The Hypocrite, part of Hull City of Culture. They were married the following summer while Elsworthy was performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Metcalfe began acting professionally in his teens, appearing as a regular in TV series such as The Queen’s Nose, Maddigan’s Quest and Genie in the House, playing Adil the Genie. More recent credits include The Winter’s Tale at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.

Elsworthy’s screen credits include the recurring character of Maya in TV comedy Plebs. She most recently appeared on stage at the RSC in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It as well as Miss Littlewood and The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich.

Babych said: “After such a difficult year for everyone, it’s thrilling to be able to bring Shakespeare’s most famous love story to the dramatic setting of Hull’s iconic Stage @TheDock.

“This production, led by two local powerhouse performers, marks my first foray into outdoor theatre and I can’t wait to start rehearsals and share this timeless tale with our amazing audiences.”

The performance space, which was created as part of Hull City of Culture in 2017, is supported by Wykeland Group. It is also the setting for The John Godber Company’s production of Moby Dick until 12 June.

Wykeland Group events co-ordinator Natalia Cleary said: “We’re delighted our support has enabled Hull Truck Theatre to move outdoors and stage its biggest production since live performances were allowed to resume.

“We’re providing our Stage @TheDock venue in the Fruit Market as in-kind support, as well as use of our new C4DI building just yards away as a rehearsal space in the weeks leading up to the production, as part of our commitment to the revival of the arts and culture in Hull following the pandemic.

“This partnership with Hull Truck will introduce many more people to Stage @TheDock as a unique performance space perfect for these socially distanced times. The location is also ideal, with so many great restaurants, bars and cultural venues in the Fruit Market for audience members to visit before or after the performances and the Fruit Market multi-storey car park just yards from Stage @TheDock.”

Hull Truck Theatre re-opened the doors of its Ferensway home after 15 months of closure last month with its Homecomings Season, with a mix of live performances with social distancing and streaming and on-demand.

The first shows include The Greatest Play in the History of the World with Julie Hesmondhalgh from 7 to 12 June, Daniel Ward’s Everything I Own from 17 to 26 June and Janet Plater’s Hull & High Water, performed by John Middleton, from 1 to 10 July.

About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.