Company of Teens perform modern take on Romeo and Juliet

Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet - Credit: Archant

A modern take on Shakespeare’s love story, Romeo and Juliet, is being performed by the youth wing of the Company of Ten at the Abbey Theatre next week.

The Company of Teens, a group of 26 youngsters aged 14 to 19, recently won first prize at the Welwyn Youth Festival with their production of The Wardrobe. Flushed with success, they immediately began work on their new project, Romeo + Juliet.

With the help of two seasoned COT directors, Philip Reardon and Ian Jordan, they set about creating an up-to-date working of the timeless classic.

The Teens’ version of the play is set very firmly in the modern world where young people constantly update and share with each other. The challenge was to link that with the heightened emotions of young love, and the miscommunications in Shakespeare’s play, while combining today’s idiom with his language.

That is not to say that they have changed the plot in any way. Philip explained: “The Montagues and Capulets are still at war, and the “star-crossed lovers” still take their own lives. It is the same old story, yet in so many ways it feels relevant today.

“The immediacy of first love is emphasised by the instant connections that young people have at their fingertips. The consequences of miscommunication feel even more crushing in a world obsessed with being connected.”

Ian pointed out that instant gratification was at the heart of the story with Romeo and Juliet wanting to be together immediately, Capulet wanting his daughter married straightaway and fatal decisions being taken in an instant - all with dire consequences.. Performances on the Abbey Theatre main stage are at 8pm on Thursday and Friday, July 16 and 17.

To book tickets call the box office on 01727 857861 or click here.