Ben Power • A Tender Thing
An adaption of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
German translation by Wolfgang Wiens and Sven-Eric Bechtolf
First performance in German
Print programme (PDF)
Commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Ben Power’s play re-examines the same material as one of Shakespeare’s works and comes up with a fascinating new vision of two of his most enduring characters.
Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet. Two young people fall in love across the tribal divide between their warring families and express their feelings in some of the most powerful poetry ever written on the subject of love. They are fresh and innocent, full of hope and hormones, and fated to die before they ever have a grey hair or a wrinkle. But what if they did not die? What if they both lived until a ripe old age? And what if the love between them remained just as strong as it always was? Does the death of a lover ever get any easier to bear?
A Tender Thing radically reshapes Shakespeare’s text and puts it in the mouths of a very different Romeo and a very different Juliet: a couple approaching the end of their lives. It is a delicate and moving account of old age, memory and the demands we make of those we love. It is presented here in the German language for the first time in a staged reading under the guidance of Sven-Eric Bechtolf.
Ben Power is a dramaturg and playwright. He has been Associate Director of the National Theatre, London since 2010.