About Friar Laurence
Friar Laurence is a key character in Romeo & Juliet. A Franciscan monk living in a humble shack in the countryside near Verona, he is a healer – gathering herbs, making medicines, and providing advice and help those in need.
Laurence is caught up in the fast-developing tragedy of the two teenagers’ star-crossed love affair and his actions drive the drama to it’s bloody conclusion.
Harriet Benson and her family have been busy in lockdown imagining an alternative view of Shakespeare’s Friar and have produced a unique and compelling version of the concluding confession and subsequent resolution of the play.
About the writer
Up and coming writer Will Shakespeare entered Shake it Up as a complete unknown and is delighted to have been selected as a winner.
Born in Stratford in 1564, Will looks forward to progressing his career in the years to come.
Director of Photography
Treading the boards and gracing the celluloid has been Harriet’s life. However, over the years, the Petersfield Shakespeare Festival has provided another discipline – sometimes performing in puddles and dying in downpours! Whatever the weather, Harriet is a dedicated participant of the Festival and has been involved since its conception.
She has sung, danced and acted her way through her career: from angels to nuns, doctors to nurses and tarts to friars, her roles have been both challenging and varied. Just before lockdown, her most recent project was filming Series 4 of The Crown but she is sworn to secrecy for now!
Spatz has been in the business of theatre so long he has actually worked with people like Ingrid Bergman, Rex Harrison and more recently Chuck Heston (not Blumenthal). Spatz has been helping out on the Petersfield Shakespeare Festival for a number of years, specialising in the sets, earning himself the title of Scenic Artist and Carpenter.
Currently on furlough from his full time job as Technical Manager at Theatre Royal Winchester he is looking forward to getting back to business.
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Josh graduated with a degree in Sports Science. A keen Crossfit competitor he is the Operations Manager for an online sports equipment company called Reyllen.
He has also started as a trainee carpenter to add another string to his bow.
His hobby is film making, especially the editing process. His penchant for spooky holidays – a Romanian forest of the dead and a Venetian plague burial island – provided plenty of material for some interesting travelogues.
He has enjoyed editing the rushes for ‘ Freya Laurence Confesses’ and hopes you have had an entertaining festival.
Nicole trained in Period Costume Making and Design in Liverpool. She is a costume cutter/maker, supervisor and designer for film, theatre, opera and ballet both here and in the USA.
Work includes principal costumes for all five Pirates of the Caribbean films, most of Tim Burton’s films including Dumbo, the Red and White Queens in Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Johnny Depp’s costumes in Dark Shadows, Men in Black:International and a new Netflix period drama. Theatre work includes Twelfth Night at the Royal National Theatre, Romeo & Juliet at The Globe.
Earlier this year she worked on costumes for the Disney film The Little Mermaid and is currently cutting costumes for one of the lead characters in the upcoming London stage musical of Frozen.