Lily James and Richard Madden in Romeo and Juliet

Now the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company is up and running in the West End, following the opening nights of The Winter's Tale, and Harlequinade/All On Her Own, excitement is building for their upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet, which opens at the Garrick Theatre from 12 May 2016.

Reuniting the stars of his celebrated film 'Cinderella', Kenneth Branagh will direct Richard Madden and Lily James in Shakespeareʼs classic love story, alongside Derek Jacobi as Mercutio.

This new production will re-evaluate the well known story and promises to give a clear and fresh perspective on the text. With two households locked in a furious feud, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall in love across borders and threaten to tear their respective families apart. Facilitated by Juliet's Nurse and a helpful Priest, the young love blossoms against all odds, until bloodshed forces them to question their future.

Lily James is an English actress who is best known for playing the role of Lady Rose MacClare in ITV's hit period drama 'Downton Abbey'. Her film credits have included 'Wrath of the Titans', 'Fast Girls' and 'Cinderella'. On stage, she starred in the Young Vic Theatre's stage adaptation of the novel 'Vernon God Little' directed by Rufus Norris. She previously played Nina in 'The Seagull' at Southwark Playhouse, and Desdemona in 'Othello' at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.

Richard Madden is best known for playing Robb Stark in the HBO series 'Game of Thrones'. He played Prince Charming in Branagh's live action film version of 'Cinderella'. He has previously played the role of Romeo for Shakespeare's Globe in 2007, for which he was greeted with excellent reviews.

Tickets for The Winter's Tale have now sold out, so make sure you don't miss your chance to see this next West End hit. Why not treat the one you love to tickets for a Christmas gift, and plan ahead for the most talked about Shakespeare play of 2016 - Romeo and Juliet.

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