Modern take on a classic

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IF you weren't a fan of Shakespeare when you were at school, a production of Romeo and Juliet at Nottingham Playhouse may just change your mind.

Staged by Nottingham Playhouse, Headlong Theatre, The Nuffield Southampton and in association with Hull Truck Theatre, this bold interpretation emphasises the earthy humour and the poignancy of the classic text.

All the cast members put on an excellent performance. Juliet (played by Catrin Stewart) is diminutive and childlike but also knows her own mind, while Daniel Boyd as Romeo is superb as a besotted teenager who quickly learns the consequences of his actions

For all its poetry, the characters spoke in a relaxed way which instantly endears us to them and Juliet’s nurse (played by Brigid Zengeni) and Mercutio (Tom Mothersdale) play their roles to great comic effect.

The actors’ performances are underpinned by the dramatic techniques used in this production.

Music evokes the emotional turbulence of teenage love, while harsh, bright flashes of white light give us a sense of foreboding, taking us out of our comfort zone and reminding us of what fate has in store of these two young lovers.

A bed forms the focal point during much of the play and becomes a potent symbol not only of the vitality of Romeo and Juliet’s love, but also their untimely death when it becomes their slab in the Capulets’ crypt.

Romeo and Juliet runs until 24th March. For details visit www.nottinghamplayhouse.co.uk or call 0115 941 9419. Follow on Twitter at #starxlovers.