The link between West Side Story, William Shakespeare and The Apprentice’s theme tune, there’s hardly an area of our culture in which the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet hasn’t made an appearance. Although Shakespeare can be credited with turning the plot into common knowledge of the British public, the origins of the story can be traced back to an Italian novella written over five hundred years ago. But how did Romeo’s declaration of love to Juliet ‘Did my heart love till now? forswear it sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.’ in 1597 become – in the lyrics of a song by Dire Straits in 1981 – ‘you and me babe, how about it?’
Pulse picking up in the tension-thick air,
Fingertips jittering nervously,
Drumming a beat against the airports brittle chairs,
the minutes; seconds; heartbeats counting down continuously.