Two star-crossed lovers caught in the rift of their feuding families - it may sound familiar but Laila - The Musical, is much more than your standard Romeo and Juliet. In fact, the show at Watford Palace Theatre is based on a seventh century Persian folk tale believed to have inspired Shakespeare and Pravesh Kumar has turned this into a masterpiece that beautifully blends Eastern and Western musical styles.

The play opens with Laila in modern day, taking shelter in an old bookshop from a storm. It’s not exactly clear where this is meant to be set - the cast are dressed in coats, leggings, jeans - essentially English clothing, which could suggest England. But, it didn’t matter too much as the purpose of it is just as a springboard for the telling of the original tale.

The first part is told using shadow puppets, which was clever and a great way to place the story, and Surrinder Singh Parwana, who narrates this part has an incredible voice.

It then opens with Laila (Mona Goodwin), in a Persian palace on her 18th birthday, where she questions why she has never been allowed to leave the grounds for ten years. After being told she’s forbidden, a bit like Disney’s Jasmine in Aladdin, she sneaks out with the help of her maid Zeenat (Sheena Patel) - a witty and funny character, who lightens the play. It is here out in the market that she meets her lover, Qays (Reece Bahia), an encounter that is followed by much heart ache, pain and grief.

Sumeet Chopra and Dougal Irvine created some great songs - the lyrics are touching and really draw you in - my friend actually got a bit emotional. Follow the Wind, Don’t Need Love and Laila and her Majnu were particular favourites, but some words in a few of the songs did use words we couldn’t understand. Maybe a knowledge of the area/culture (Bollywood-esque) could have enhanced it - they made it clear that Majnu meant madman so a little more of that would have been great. It seemed very tailored to Bollywood fans.

Despite that it was still incredibly entertaining and moving. Mona’s portrayal of Laila was enchanting and the tones in her voice were beautiful. Reece too made a great lead and was convincing as the man gone mad by love.

Sami Lamine, who played Laila’s brother Tabrez, sometimes came across a bit camp and melodramatic - particular in some of the more serious scenes, which was a bit off putting.

Overall this was a brilliantly energetic musical that really drew you in. The themes of freedom to marry who you want, women’s rights and love are still relevant today and the costumes were bright and colourful as you'd expect.

At Watford Palace Theatre until April 17. Details: 01923 225671.