ONE of the most tragic love stories ever told tugged at the heartstrings of Thornbury's youths last week.

The timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet performed by the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (BOVTS) at the Armstrong Hall proved popular with pupils from Gillingstool, New Siblands and the Sheiling School.

In the re-imagined plot, Emily, a book lover with a soft spot for happy-ever-after endings comes across Shakespeare’s play.

As the performace begins, she introduces to the audience and brings them to life.

BOVTS's two perofrmaces at the Armstrong Hall kicked off the town's Arts Festival.

Lizi Wilkins, Thornbury Arts Festival director, said: "Local primary school children enjoyed BOVTS’s bold storytelling with non-stop action and music.

"The power and beauty of the original text was not lost in this story of boy meets girl and the tragic story of young love even though it was told in a modern and fun way.

"The children were engrossed and the two performances were a great way to begin the Thornbury Arts Festival season."