A new video installation by ACW alumni Lily Cahill & Rob Murphy

Open until Sunday 1st June | 12pm to 6pm

Accompaniment |

In 1827 the French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz purportedly watched Irish actress Harriet Smithson on two occasions at the Odéon Theatre in Paris, playing Hamlet’s Ophelia and Romeo’s Juliet, women created by English playwright William Shakespeare. These events incited Hector’s development of two intense infatuations. One with the actress, resulting in a doomed marriage. The other being the writer, proving the more lasting romance, developing into a lifelong love. Though the performances were in English, of which Hector knew practically none, this could not stop him grasping “the grandeur and sublimity of Shakespeare’s language along with the richness of the plays’ dramatic design.”

Hector would come to recognise ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as “the supreme drama of my life.” 1