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After Juliet

After Juliet is a play written by Scottish playwright Sharman Macdonald.[1] It was commissioned for the 1999 NT Shell Connections programme, in which regional youth theatre groups compete to stage short plays by established playwrights.

The basic premise of the play, following on from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is "What happened to the Capulets and Montagues after Romeo and Juliet died". The setting of After Juliet is described as "Verona. Or it could be Edinburgh, Dublin, Birmingham, New York, or Liverpool. It could be 1500, 1900, 2000, or 3000".[2] The only place that After Juliet cannot be set is Glasgow, as one of the characters, Rhona, is from Glasgow, and away from home.[3]

Macdonald's daughter, Keira Knightley appeared Heatham House Youth Centre's NT Connections production, which made the regional finals.[3]

It continues to be performed by youth groups all over the world.


The play centres on Rosaline, Juliet's cousin and Romeo's ex-flame. Ironically, Rosaline had been in love with Romeo, but was playing "hard to get". Tortured by the loss of her love, Rosaline has become a sullen, venomous woman. She actively seeks to be elected the 'Princess of Cats' and run the Capulet family.

Meanwhile, the Capulets and Montagues have obeyed Prince Escalus and called a truce. The treaty quickly descends into a farce as both sides continue to rage against each other. Amid the turmoil more doomed love springs- between Benvolio Montague and Rosaline. Benvolio is warned by Valentine (Mercutio's twin brother) to stay away from her if he knows what's right.

The climax of the play comes during an election to determine whether or not Rosaline or Petruchio (Tybalt's brother) will succeed Tybalt as Prince or Princess of Cats. The election fails to have any results and the fate of the truce is left open ended.[4]

A 2009 youth, stage version of the show featured Valentine as the twin sister of Mercutio; this added an extra storyline where Valentine is in love with Benvolio and is jealous of Rosaline. Benvolio's final scene ends with Valentine running off stage after his rejection.


  • Rosaline: Alive,/ I could have fought to regain his love./ I could have fought./ I would have won./ A heart that's fickle and can turn/ Would be fickle still/ And turn again.[5]
  • Valentine: She's a better man than Tybalt ever was, or Petruchio will ever be, give her a sword she'd show you no mercy.
  • Valentine: There's better fish in the sea than ever came out of it!

Dramatis Personae

  • Benvolio, a Montague, Romeo’s best friend and cousin
  • Valentine, Mercutio’s twin brother (Or sister)
  • Rosaline, a Capulet, Juliet’s cousin
  • Bianca, suffers from petit mal, Juliet’s cousin
  • Helena a Capulet, Bianca’s sister, Juliet’s cousin
  • Rhona, a Capulet, a visitor from abroad, Juliet’s cousin
  • Alice, a Capulet, Juliet’s cousin
  • Livia, a Capulet, Rosaline’s half-sister, Juliet’s cousin
  • Angelica, a Capulet servant, Juliet’s nurse
  • Lorenzo, a Capulet
  • Gianni, a Capulet, friend/brother to Lorenzo
  • Petruchio, a Capulet, Tybalt’s brother
  • Romeo, a dead Montague (non-speaking)
  • Juliet, a dead Capulet
  • Drummer, ever present, menacing, a puppeteer of the action
  • Musicians[6]


  1. "'After Juliet' a Familiar Tale by New Name". The Washington Post. 10 February 2005. p. T.05. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Living
  4. After Juliet: The Story
  6. South London Theatre - After Juliet

External links