TALENTED young dancers from the North-East have joined the cast of a modern ballet for a reimagined version of a Shakespearean classic.

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet is a contemporary reworking of the story of star-crossed lovers, who, in this version, meet while locked up in an intimidating institution.

The award-winning choreographer’s show opens to Theatre Royal audiences in Newcastle next week with six young performers from the region joining the company.

A former pupil at Longfield Academy in Darlington, Chloe Shutt, 19, from Newton Aycliffe, who trains at Dance City, Newcastle, said: “It is a really big deal for me. Rehearsals are going so fast. I am really excited. I think it is going to fly over and I will want to do it all again.

"The cast are amazing and have been really helpful.”

The Northern Echo:

The production company, New Adventures, began the search for new dance talent in April last year with a call-out for young performers currently in training aged between 16 and 19.

It attracted more than 1,000 applications and, following a UK-wide audition tour, six local young cast members were chosen for each venue.

Lisa Robinson, 18, also from Newton Aycliffe, who went to Woodham Academy, now trains at Rambert Contemporary Dance Company in London.

She said: “It is such a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of what professional life could be like. It is so amazing. I was so thrilled to get this part. It is very exciting.”

The Northern Echo:

Local talent also includes Sam Curruthers, from Whitley Bay, Kayleigh Oborka-Letman, from Germany but now living in Newcastle, Andrew Scott from Sunderland and Tom Sutton from Middlesbrough.

Seren Williams, who plays Juliet, said: “They are doing really great. They have not had much time to learn it so it is really impressive how quickly they have learned the show. They are amazing and have come in with new ideas and energy. They are really enthusiastic so it is really nice to have them here.”

The Northern Echo:

The production is directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne, and new orchestrations of the Prokofiev score by Terry Davies is played live at every venue, conducted by Brett Morris.

Andrew Monaghan, who plays Romeo, said: “The new cast members are doing so well. They have got such a hard job because they have had to get into a show in a week.

“They have to work really hard and have to fit into the company very quickly.

“They are doing an amazing job and they are really holding their own, which is so nice. They are very talented. There is a lot of talent up here in the North-East so it is good to be able to work with these six guys.

“To get to work in a venue like the Theatre Royal, which they all know so well, is such an amazing experience for them.”

The show runs for four nights between Wednesday and Saturday, October 9 and 12, playing evenings at 7.30pm, matinees on Wednesday and Thursdays at 2pm and Saturday at 2.30pm.

Tickets from £17.50 can be purchased from the box office on 08448-11-21-21 or booked online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk