Here follow the four extracts from Romeo & Juliet we’re asking auditionees to read from on Saturday. Take a look at them all, and choose one. Remember, we’re looking for a performance that shows a real contrast from your main, prepared monologue.
We don’t expect you to learn these, but take a look and get to grips with what’s going on.
Some of the speeches have other characters interjecting at points. One of us might read these in for you; or we may ask you to read through without them.
Feel free to present your own understanding of the extracts. We’ve given some ideas on each speech below, but one of the rewarding things about Shakespeare’s work is that there are many valid ways to interpret it. Just find an understanding that works for you.
Any questions, drop us an email or leave a comment below.
Nurse (Act I scene 3)
This is a really funny speech. Not necessarily the story the nurse is telling, but due to the way she chooses to tell it, and of course her harping repetition. A great chance to flex your comedy and caricature muscles.
If reading it without interjections, you can choose how to interpret it. You might want to imagine responding to a look the other characters have given you, or find a way to re-purpose the language to suggest something different.
Mercutio (Act II scene 1)
A sexually charged, irreverent piece of wordplay. This could be a great opportunity to show a very masculine character – whether that’s boyish and puerile, manly and loutish, or sophisticated and smug. But others have seen the character as anything but masculine, so, as with all of these, go with whatever interpretation motivates you.
Romeo (Act III scene 3)
A classic, tragic speech, and a very popular audition piece (among men), this needs little introduction. You can choose whether you want to depict a tragic lover’s a heart-rending, ominous soliloquy, the petulant outburst of a spoilt teenager, or any other reading of the character that stimulates you.
Capulet (Act III scene 5)
This a wonderful speech, a chance to show both a powerful, high-status character, and a rollercoaster of rage. Whether you choose to show that rage softly bubbling and progressively building, or varying erratically, or in any other pattern, is down to your choice of interpretation of the speech and the character.
When considering it as a whole monologue without interjections, it may help to imagine Juliet’s first utterance has been said before you started speaking, so you respond first to Lady Capulet, then to Juliet, processing what they’ve said to you consecutively.