Lapstone musicians provide music for Romeo and Juliet

Sport for Jove theatre company brings a youthful take on the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet to Leura Everglades in January.

Teenagers, all aged 14-18, play the show's roles.

"This production takes on the spirit of a filthy Italian opera, led with an original acapella score," said artistic director Damien Ryan.

"You will be transported to a backcountry Verona, a profoundly insular town, staring down at the future of moral pollution at its heart. Only its children's courage to express themselves will bring change."

Lapstone composers and actors Naomi and Drew Livingston wrote the music for Sport for Jove's production of Romeo and Juliet 10 years ago and have freshened up this material for the latest production.

The music is written to be sung by the voices on stage, specifically for the additional challenges of performing in an outdoor setting.

Naomi said the actors were taught vocal techniques to "manage the vocal load over the season and not fatigue".

"We keep it simple, but layer levels of simplicity over the top of each other," she said.

Drew says there's a real joy in bringing Shakespeare's works to the stage.

"There's so little in the human experience that Shakespeare hasn't covered and articulated in a human way," he said.

"You are condensing huge ideas into simple, precise power-packed lines."

"With the language, people get frightened by the complexity of it," Naomi said. "But there's something tactile in the words, they are so beautiful to turn into music."

Romeo and Juliet is paired with Twelfth Night. Christopher Stollery will direct a side-splitting take on the riotous Twelfth Night with music and mayhem.

Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night is showing at the Everglades in Leura from January 12-26. Tickets at www.sportforjove.com.au

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