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Baz Luhrmann’s approach is as polarising as it is fresh and inventive in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s most famous work, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

While retaining its original dialogue, this cinematic version of the iconic play takes place in a gritty run-down city named Verona Beach, with the Capulets and the Montagues as organised crime families. Featuring an impressive young cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes and John Leguizamo, the film has served as an introduction to the Bard for students and novices since its 1996 release—doing what many teachers had only dreamed of in making Shakespeare ‘cool’.

Baz Luhrmann’s efforts in translating the 400-year-old play to a distinctly 90s teen drama initially divided audiences, but the hyperactive, neon-disco aesthetic paired with an iconic soundtrack—including Radiohead, The Cardigans and Garbage—has cemented the film as a modern classic, worthy of celebration 25 years on. 


This screening will be introduced by Julia O’Keeffe, Learning Coordinator at Bradford Theatres.

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