One of the most emotional love stories in literary history is the inspiration for a brand new production from globally-acclaimed choreographer and director Matthew Bourne. Currently on a UK tour, the production was filmed live at Sadler’s Wells in London and will be released in more than 400 cinemas nationwide from Tuesday, October 22.

The passionate and emotional story of star cross’d lovers Romeo and Juliet has inspired the world’s creative community for years spawning multiple versions and adaptations.

For Matthew Bourne, it was not so much the story but the opportunity to channel the enthusiasm and talent of young people which drove him to create his stunning production of Shakespeare’s iconic story.

He said: “I avoided it for years because it had been done in many different styles and mediums and I thought it would be hard to find a new way into it.

“It is a story about young people, and I thought that was a great impetus into it because it is about young love. I got more excited when it was suggested that we cast it with young people, we work with young creative associates in all the different departments on the show alongside all my usual world-class team that I work with, and it was all about nurturing them while telling the story. That is what got me excited about it.”

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Joining his professional company are six up-and-coming talented young dancers who were chosen after a series of auditions.

Matthew explained: “They are an integral part of the show. They are not token appearances and are definitely part of the main company.”

In addition, each area of the creative process including lighting, sound and orchestration have a specially-appointed associate artist working hands-on with Matthew’s team.

The show also boasts a brand new arrangement of Prokofiev’s music which is performed live by an orchestra at each performance.

Matthew said: “While Prokofiev’s music is wonderful and big and lush for big opera house productions and it suits that style of production, I wanted something a bit more earthy and quirky. We nervously went to the Prokofiev Estate and asked them if we could do a new arrangement. It is sounding wonderful and I hope the estate are happy.”

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For Matthew, Romeo and Juliet is the latest project in a busy 2019 which also saw him presented with a Special Award for services to dance.

He recalled: “Getting an award like that can feel a bit like it is the end of your career and people are saying, ‘Thank you, please stop.’ It felt great to be in the middle of a new creation when I got it. It was about the past and the future at the same time.”

As far as Romeo and Juliet is concerned, he feels it has something to offer everyone.

He said: “I don’t think dance needs to be scary. People do get worried because they think they are not going to get it. I don’t want people to feel that way.

“Equally I want people to have something to get their teeth into as you do when you see a great movie or play, or you are trying to follow the plot of Line of Duty on TV. You can’t just sit back so it is all easy, easy. It is challenging for our audiences in some ways but they have grown to love that in our work. They want twists and there are some in this version, but it is all very clear and very easy to follow.

“What is coming across is this incredible energy among the performance and the fast-moving nature of it. What we have set out to do is celebrate this incredible youthful energy. The show explodes with it.”

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Matthew thinks cinema screenings are an amazing development and very exciting.

“The New Adventures company tours extensively, but there are a lot of places we can’t get to, and screenings are a great opportunity for reaching people who wouldn’t normally get to the theatre.”

In his view going to a cinema screening of a show is a different experience to the stage performance.

“With screenings you can direct the audience to what you want them to see, so in a way it’s easier to tell a story. You get closer to the performers and are drawn into the action and characters more specifically, so you get more involved.”

Romeo & Juliet is showing at Everyman Barnet, Vue Finchley North, Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley, and Everyman Muswell Hill on Tuesday, October 22; and Wyllotts Theatre on Friday, November 8, and Monday, November 11. Visit for more information.