James Barrett: "We are trying to find a way to tell the story in the 21st century"
Romeo and Juliet is receiving a 21st-century makeover on Twitter, with Shakespeare's classic verse given a more modern twist.
Entitled Such Tweet Sorrow, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is improvising a story loosely based on the tale on the micro-blogging site.
For the next five weeks, the actors will respond to each other, to the "audience" and to real world events.
Lines from Juliet so far include: "Jules is over and out!! Xxx."
The actors have been asked to improvise around a prepared story "grid" set in modern-day Britain.
They are writing the tweets themselves guided by the storyline and diary which outlines where they are at any moment in the adventure.
RSC actress Charlotte Wakefield plays 16-year-old Juliet whose Twitter name is julietcap16.
She started Tweeting her daily activities on Saturday, and has so far linked to a YouTube video of her bedroom room - pausing on the framed photo of her dead mother Susan Capulet.
We have no real idea of what the next five weeks will bring, but we are holding onto our seatbelts
Charles Hunter, Mudlark
Such Tweet Sorrow is a co-production with Mudlark, which produces entertainment on mobile phones, TV and the internet, with funding from Channel 4's digital investment fund.
Michael Boyd, artistic director of the RSC, said: "Our ambition is always to connect people with Shakespeare and bring actors and audiences closer together.
"Mobile phones don't need to be the antichrist for theatre. This digital experiment... allows our actors to use mobiles to tell their stories in real time and reach people wherever they are in a global theatre."
Charles Hunter from Mudlark added: "We have no real idea of what the next five weeks will bring, but we are holding onto our seatbelts."
We asked you for your views on this story. Please find a selection of your comments below.
I have never heard of anything so ridiculous in all my life! The idea of Romeo and Juliet being "performed" via Twitter is the biggest load of rubbish ever. Why on earth can't these people actually perform the play properly on a stage is anyone's guess. This will make people who have never seen the play completely miss the actual excitement and beauty this play presents. Is this the way social networking sites are taking us? Shakespeare must be spinning in his grave. Nic, Manchester
I think it's a great idea and one that Shakespeare would have thoroughly approved. It saddens me greatly that Shakespeare has this elitist tag when he was of the people and writing for the people. Anything that breaks down this negative stereotype should be welcomed. Well done to all involved. Lara, Bournemouth, UK
A travesty to the English language! The last thing we should be doing is encouraging kids to use this terrible "text-speak" that is becoming all too widespread. This is unacceptable. If you want to get kids hooked on Shakespeare, show them the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet with a young Leo DiCaprio. It sure worked for a teenaged me! Elizabeth, Chicago, USA
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