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 dance maestro 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 which comes to The Lowry, Salford Quays, next week.

He said: “I avoided it for years because it was something everyone expected me to do. It had been done in many different styles and mediums and I thought it would be hard to find a new way into it, which is something I always search for.

“It is a story about young people, and I thought that was a great impetus into it because it is about young people and 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 my usual world-class team and it was all about nurturing them while telling the story. That is what got me excited about it.”

For the Lowry show six young dancers from the North West will make their debut - Katie Agarwal, from Oldham; Georgia Collier from Bury, Orla Collier from Kendal, Brandon Hunter from Lancaster, Patrick King from Kirkby-in-Furness and Kayde-Samuél Wright from Manchester.

They will appear alongside the professional company in every performance. Matthew explained: “They are an integral part of the show. They are not token appearances and are definitely part of the main company.”

Set a few years in the future when society frowns at young people for having too much feeling and emotion.

Matthew said: “Dance is very good at extreme emotions, and Romeo and Juliet as a story is certainly full of those. It is full of passion, love against the odds, and several extremes of murder and violence. It is all those big emotions.

“One thing I have tried to bring out is that when young people first fall in love and they feel that passion, they really go overboard in many ways. I often think about how classical ballet handles this and how the young girl gets very excited by a kiss on the cheek. Young people today, if they are into each other, are kissing until their mouths are sore, and I have tried to capture a bit of that.”

For Matthew, Romeo and Juliet is the latest project in a busy 2019 which has seen his iconic production of Swan Lake go back on tour.

Romeo and Juliet, The Lowry. Salford Quays, Tuesday, June 11 to Saturday, June 15. Details from 0843 208 6005 or