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'Romeo & Juliet' on Sky Arts — release date, cast and everything you need to know

Juliet (Jessie Buckley) and Romeo (Josh O'Connor) smile warmly at each other while the Friar (Lucian Msamati) officiates their wedding.
Romeo & Juliet stars Jessie Buckley and Josh O'Connor (Image credit: Sky / National Theatre)

A new version of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet is coming to our TV screens this Easter, courtesy of the National Theatre and Sky Arts. 

Originally intended to be staged at the Olivier Theatre last year, the production was turned into a film instead after the COVID-19 pandemic forced theatres to close. Here's everything you need to know about the classic love story's latest adaptation...

Romeo & Juliet release date

Romeo & Juliet will be broadcast on Sky Arts on Easter Sunday April 4 at 8pm.

Who is in the cast of Romeo & Juliet?

The Durrells and The Crown star Josh O'Connor plays Romeo opposite Chernobyl and Fargo's Jessie Buckley as Juliet. Other big names in the cast include Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner, Episodes) as Juliet's mother Lady Capulet, Deborah Findlay (The Split) as Juliet's Nurse, Adrian Lester (Life, Riviera) as the Prince, Lucien Msamati (His Dark Materials, Gangs Of London) as the Friar, Fisayo Akinade (Cucumber, Ordinary Lies) as Mercutio and Shubham Saraf (A Suitable Boy, Criminal: UK) as Benvolio.

Lady Capulet (Tamsin Greig) and Lord Capulet (Lloyd Hutchinson) look on in horror

Tamsin Greig as Lady Capulet and Lloyd Hutchinson as Lord Capulet. (Image credit: Sky / National Theatre)

How was Romeo & Juliet filmed?

Romeo & Juliet was filmed over 17 days at the National Theatre complex on London's South Bank, adhering to the guidelines in place at the time for TV productions.

"Obviously a bunch of theatre actors in a room not being able to hug and kiss each other was a nightmare, that was the immediate problem!" says Josh. "But Jessie and I had the time of our lives making it. There was the boring stuff, like every time we walked into a room we would sanitise and put masks on, and there were rules about when Jessie and I could rehearse the balcony scene. 

"We'd have to have a test that day, and then we would have a three-hour window in order to get intimate in any way. But it was one of the most magical experiences of my career."

"It's something that, when we look back on 2020, we'll say we made something come to life against the odds," adds Jessie. "When we walked into the theatre space it was really emotional, because for the first time this titan of storytelling in our world was dark, and it felt like a lost place. What was so incredible about this experience, and something I will cherish for a long time, is that we used our imagination to make something live again."

Is there a trailer?

Ay, forsooth — you can watch it below...