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Juliet: A Revenge Comedy Is Rewriting Shakespeare’s Most Famous Female Leads

Leading star Lili Beaudoin shares her Sad Girl to Badass playlist.

by Yasmine Shemesh

What if Juliet didn’t kill herself at the end of William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet? What if she decided to live instead? In Monster Theatre’s Juliet: A Revenge Comedy, Juliet sets out to re-write her narrative and change her fate—with some big laughs and canon-bending along the way. The production, written by Pippa Mackie and Ryan Gladstone, has received widespread critical acclaim including six Jessie Award nominations and one win, and it’s hitting the Cultch’s Historic stage from February 8 to 18, 2024.  

Lili Beaudoin, who portrays the titular Miss Capulet in the play, calls it a feminist take on the classic story. “She’s 13-years-old. She’s got her whole life ahead of her,” she says. “So, it’s kind of the idea of choosing yourself over choosing a romantic partner.”

The play’s co-writer, Mackie, originally portrayed Juliet in the previous runs, but Beaudoin was cast after being drawn to the role’s spirited nuance. “Oh, it’s just so much fun,” she tells RANGE. “There’s a lot of playfulness in it, a lot of comedy, and then it just hits you with a one-two punch of [being] really touching.”  

Part of the fun comes when Shakespeare’s other famous female characters band together with Juliet in an attempt to likewise change their fates and choose themselves. Over 20 of them, including Lady Macbeth and Ophelia, are played by Carly Pokoradi. It’s a lighthearted yet sharp subverting of the themes often seen in Shakespeare’s tragedies. “I mean, for his time, Shakespeare did a pretty good job,” Beaudoin laughs. “But most of the female characters end in suicide. Or, if it’s a comedy, they end in marriage.” 

Beaudoin promises that Juliet offers something for everyone, from Bard traditionalists to reluctant fans alike, bridging the gap with language, originality, and humour.

And—with music! What would an empowered Juliet be listening to in her headphones? To answer that question, Beaudoin made a Juliet playlist especially for RANGE. It’s assembled to move like the story does, with songs like “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield that score the underlying message, as well as some in reference to specific characters: “Killer Queen,” for example, is for Lady Macbeth. 

And then there’s the crown jewel: Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls).” “It hits it on the head,” Beaudoin says. “It’s all about women choosing what to do for themselves, being bosses, badass. It’s got a lot of energy.” 

Juliet: A Revenge Comedy runs Feb. 8 to 18 at the Cultch | TICKETS & INFO


Love Story – Taylor swift (Falling in love) 

Bring me to life – Evanescence (Death)

Intergalactic – beastie boys (Entering a different dimension) 

Killer Queen – Queen (Lady Mac)

Tiptoe through the tulips – Tiny Tim  (Ophelia)

Venom – Eminem (Cleopatra)

Creep – Radiohead (All alone in the world) 

I put a spell on you –  Annie Lennox (Under Shakespeare’s spell) 

Run the world- Beyonce (Fighting Shakespeare) 

Unwritten – Natasha Beddingfield (End)