THE moment the lovelorn teenager on the balcony wistfully sighs the name of her beloved is one of the most well-trodden moments in all of theatre, so to make it fresh and even funny is an achievement worth celebrating.

When cheeky, tousled-haired Greg Shewring broke the fourth wall upon hearing the word “Romeo,” and began mugging furiously, excitedly mouthing “That’s me!” to the audience, they guffawed not only with amusement but with excitement.

Shewring’s engaging, charming, excitable Romeo even managed to steal the show from the real star of the GB Theatre Company’s performance: the dramatic Arundel Castle setting at sunset.

Joseph Passafaro gave a rambunctious Mercutio, equal parts frat-boy and Lord Byron, and Sacha Mandel showcased enormous range but questionable judgement with a vicious, serpentine Tybalt but a Count Paris so foppish his death brought titters rather than tears.

As the cast took their bows against the floodlit backdrop of Gothic spires and flying buttresses, a chilly but delighted audience gave them their just deserts. Irreverent, pacy and moving - and performed under the stars - this is Shakespeare as it was and should be.