We reveal the two actors who will play Shakespeare's tragic young lovers in 2018.

Karen Fishwick will make her RSC debut playing Juliet. She said: "Juliet has so many incredible strengths and flaws and is ultimately so much more human than I ever thought. I think she's really brave."

Bally Gill explained why he wanted to play Romeo: "Who wouldn't!? One of the most iconic Shakespeare characters of all time. Also it was my first introduction to Shakespeare. I watched Baz Luhrmann's film with Leonardo DiCaprio playing Romeo. I never thought I would get the chance to play him."

Bally Gill in a black leather jacket and Karen Fishwick in a purple cardigan posing for a photo in a stairwell
Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick will play Romeo and Juliet.
Photo by Paul Stuart © RSC Browse and license our images

Bally made his RSC debut as part of The Other Place Mischief Festival in 2016. This year he appeared in Vice Versa, Salome and Coriolanus. Romeo will be his first Shakespeare leading role. His other credits include The Island Nation (Arcola Theatre), A Local Boy (The Arts Theatre), Dinner with Saddam (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Bureau of Lost Things (Theatre 503) and NW (BBC/Mammoth Screen).

Karen will make her RSC debut as Juliet. She most recently appeared in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (National Theatre of Scotland/Live Theatre). Her other credits include Glasgow Girls (NTS/Citizens), Hansel and Gretel (Citizens Theatre), The Caucasian Chalk Circle, A Christmas Carol (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh), Badults (BBC Three), James Kirk's Comedy Blaps, The Illuminati (The Comedy Unit) and Tides and Telegrams (for The Winter Tradition).

The play will be directed by our Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman and designed by Tom Piper. Further casting will be announced soon.

Romeo and Juliet plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 21 April 2018 and will be broadcast live to cinemas on the 18 July 2018. It will tour the UK in 2019.

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