Simon Godwin on "Romeo and Juliet"
Play • 35 min
The National Theatre’s new production of "Romeo and Juliet" was meant to premiere in the summer of 2020. But when the COVID-19 pandemic began, Simon Godwin, the production’s director, was tasked with turning it into a 90-minute film shot entirely in the National’s Littleton Theatre.

Now, as the film approaches its United States premiere, Godwin sees "Romeo and Juliet" as a play uniquely suited to our pandemic moment. We spoke with him about how the pandemic affected the production logistically and thematically, as well as about learning how to direct a film and working with actors like Josh O’Connor, Jessie Buckley, and Tamsin Grieg. Godwin is interviewed by Barbara Bogaev.

"Romeo and Juliet" airs in the United States at 9 pm EDT on April 23—Shakespeare’s birthday—on PBS Great Performances. Simon Godwin is the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC.

From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast. Published Tuesday, April 13. © Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. This podcast episode, “Never Was a Story of More Woe,” was produced by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. It was edited by Gail Kern Paster. Ben Lauer is the web producer. Leonor Fernandez edits a transcript of every episode, available at We had technical help from Andrew Feliciano and Paul Luke at Voice Trax West in Studio City, California.
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