La Boite Theatre Company brings William Shakespeare’s enduring tale of star-cross’d lovers to the stage with a few modern touches, starring several impressive third-year acting students from Queensland University of Technology, most making their professional debuts.

Jack Bannister and Darcy Gooda in La Boite’s  Romeo and Juliet. Photo © Stephen Henry

It is one of the oldest and most frequently performed plays in the English canon – boy meets girl, they fall in love and their three-day affair ends with six bodies in the ground, including their own. Shakespeare’s visceral tale of feuding families and teenage urgency, arguably his most well-known, has endured as a classic for over 400 years, remade and reimagined in innumerable productions.

Directed by Artistic Director and CEO Todd MacDonald, La Boite’s streamlined adaptation is played straight through without interval, maintaining much of the original script but adding modern music and costuming (although, thankfully, avoiding the temptation to substitute swords for modern weapons). The most noticeable cuts in this adaptation were the sonnet prologue and the closing lines delivered by the Prince, the recognisable bookends of this work. The ongoing partnership between La Boite and QUT Creative Industries placed emerging...