STUDIO Theatre was doing a superb impression of a sauna on Monday at the opening night of Romeo and Juliet.

It was one occasion where the cast could probably have done without a packed audience, as we radiated heat at them when the poor souls must have already been suffering enough.

And at three hours this was not the shortest of plays. So was it worth it? In a word, yes. It was a beautifully staged production. Everything from the intricate hairstyles and make-up to the imaginative costumes, and the artful lighting to the inspired choice of music was done to perfection.

Hebe Fletcher gave a lovely performance that captured Juliet’s youthful naivety and teenage angst in a way that couldn’t help but move even the hardest of hearts. Steve Graney’s Romeo was bold and foolhardy, romantic and impetuous; everything Romeo should be. It was his first role with the theatre and he’s a real find.

As usual with Studio, every cast member gave it their all and it would be hard to single out a few without feeling bad for those not mentioned, so I won’t attempt it. Suffice to say that sometimes it’s very easy to forget that this is an amateur theatre group. As we ran for the outdoors to cool down during the interval the nice steward attempted to cheer us by pointing out that we’d probably sweated off a few pounds and it was “far easier than going to the gym”.

I’m not sure that was true. The gym has air-conditioning. It’s a testament to how good this was that we all took a deep breath and headed back into the sauna for more.

p Romeo and Juliet is at Studio Theatre, Salisbury until July 28. Visit Tel: 01722 342860.