The revised/final version of the Prologue
The revised concept is that of sunrise over Verona. Moving from the general view over the roof tops, where our view is obscured by the early morning mist, to the particular view of an empty Cathedral Square, where the market sellers are setting up their stalls.
Laurence Oliver, who was at Cinecittà Studios, Rome when the filming was taking place, agreed to do the voice-over, as well as the dubbing of Lord Montague’s voice and some other crowd voices.
The Camera was positioned in the Piazzale Castel S. Pietro, Verona. It is in reality an evening setting sun, as the sun is in the west over Verona! We have an exterior shot panning L to R over the roof tops of Verona. The centre of focus is a church, the Chiesa di Sant’Anastasis in silhouette. Then the scene cuts to (panning R to L) with the camera positioned in the main back lot at Cinecittà Studios, Rome, which becomes the “Cathedral Square”.
The original version of the Prologue
As will be seen from Scene 1 of the original script (below), all the action was to take place in the Cathedral Square. The emphasis was on a sombre, desolate and sinister setting over which we would have heard a child’s voice (Balthazar) reading the Prologue. It would have set the scene of a tragedy involving two children, and this emphasis on children would have continued to the very end, where in the final scene (Scene 67 – The Funeral) of the original version (again replaced), the child’s voice would have returned to read the final words of the play.