When the pandemic hit London, director Simon Godwin's National Theatre production of “Romeo & Juliet” shut down before it could open. So Godwin shot the play as a movie — never mind that he had never even picked up a camera and couldn’t film outside the theater.
“There would be no locations, there would be no trips to Italy, there would be no even natural light,” Godwin says. “And yet, I remembered a phrase from the Stoics, who had the motto: The obstacle is the way.”
Even without a trip to fair verona, Godwin shot his movie, starring Josh O’Connor and Jessie Buckley, in a mere 17 days.
Godwin’s version of “Romeo & Juliet” is now streaming through May 21 as a part of PBS’s Great Performances series.
He explains why he thinks the Bard would love the movies — and approve of taking some creative liberties — including giving Lord Capulet’s lines to Lady Capulet.