omeo and Juliet
“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume”
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has been a popular choice for artists. It has also been transposed into other settings such as the film West Side Story showing the New York street gangs of the late 1950s.
In April 1906 a musical called The Belle of Mayfair opened at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. This was also based on Romeo and Juliet in the current time, Romeo being played by the renowned actor Farren Souter. On opening Edna May took the role of Juliet but after a few months she stormed out of the production.
16 year old Phyllis Dare, studying in Brussels, was summoned to London to take over the role.
With much trepidation she returned to the stage and was greatly supported by her fellow actors and the audiences. In December she moved to pantomime and the role of Juliet was assumed by actress Billie Burke until it closed in April 1907.
It would seem that the play was as turbulent as the tragedy.