Is it a comedy? Is it a tragedy? Is it neither? Is it both? Whatever it is, Measure for Measure is a problem play, and therefore always going to be difficult to interpret on stage. This student production is a lively, fresh view of the Bard's brood on the many interpretations of the word 'justice'.

The Duke of Vienna (Krishna Omkar) informs the people he is going away for a diplomatic mission, and is leaving the city in the capable hands of local judge Angelo (Leo Marcus Wan). As soon as the Duke appears to leave, a case comes before the government of a young nobleman Claudio (Paul D'alessandro), who, it is revealed, has impregnated his fiancée Juliet (Alev Scott, who also plays lady of the night, Mistress Overdone), obviously out of wedlock. Angelo takes this very seriously and sentences Claudio to death, to make an example out of the young nobleman. However, unbeknown to everybody, the Duke has not left the city, and is spying on how Angelo is dealing with being leader of one of the most important cities in the world.

The chief 'problem' that scholars have - and the chief joy the audience has - is to do with the play's structural and moral subversion. Lives are both ruined and reconciled at the play's conclusion, justice is upheld, but justice for whom? There are no clear-cut moral lines and decisions; everything is complicated by character motivation and deceptions. In some ways the play is one of Shakespeare's most misanthropic pieces; we get a very hostile view of humanity from many of the scenes.

The production's great strength is in its direction, by Pippa Needs, which is confident and sparing. The play is imaginatively staged in communist-era Eastern Europe, and the actors use the whole OFS auditorium to perform, including all entrances and exits, the balconies, the aisle and every last bit of the stage space going. It's an involving, confrontational technique, which forces you to engage with the play's finest details. The acting is also of the highest calibre, the undoubted highlight being Leo Marcus Wan as Angelo. Menacing and terrible, yet slight in stature and with a profound vulnerability, it's a performance that embodies the play's themes.

Although nobody would argue this is Shakespeare's finest hour - some of the plot's mechanics are slightly suspect in places - Measure for Measure is a fascinating discussion of culpability, punishment and guilt. The production's fresh, exciting direction makes it a cut above regular student Shakespeare. It continues at the OFS until tomorrow evening.