Young People’s Theatre Newcastle

Spotlight On: Maddie Newland, Assistant Director for Romeo and Juliet

Spotlight On: Maddie Newland, Assistant Director for Romeo and Juliet

3 minute read // Published by Young Peoples Theatre, March 2022
Written by Maddie Newland on Assistant Director Romeo and Juliet

I hadn’t really worked on a Shakespearean play prior to Romeo and Juliet, I hadn’t even worked on a straight play before, so it was definitely something really different for me. Coming in, I was super keen to just have a go at it.

In the directing team, the way that we worked was that Nick would block a lot of the scenes, but left room for myself, Larissa and Ash to put our own thoughts and ideas into the scene. It is really, really great working with a director like that.

I was working mostly on the staged combat blocking, so whenever they were throwing punches or getting thrown to the ground, that was what I was choreographing. In the past I had only choreographed with swords and weapons, so this was the first time I had done hand to hand combat which was a bit challenging at first, but we worked together and made sure it was as safe as possible. Every time we had a chance to check in with the cast, we did. We made sure they were really comfortable with the motions before they really got into it.

It has been so great to see the production grow this week and finally on the stage with all the blood…fake blood! The lighting, the set and everything has really pulled it all together. The cast has been absolutely amazing this entire weekend. They’ve put their all into the show and I can’t wait to see it put on for an audience. It’s been really rewarding to see it all come together this weekend. 

I think Romeo and Juliet is a story people feel they know a lot about but they really don’t, like they have seen it in certain mediums or have studied it in school, but to see it on stage adds a whole new element to it. If you want to come and get your heart broken, it’s a great show to come and see.


Romeo and Juliet plays at YPT Theatre until 5 March. Tickets at 

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