13-16 April 2016
Reviewed by Linda Curtain
I was delighted to have the chance to attend the opening night of the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet last evening, at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. It was great to see this as their choice of ballet during Shakespeare’s 400 years celebrations.
On arriving at the theatre, we were able to park in the adjoining car park. Access to the conveniently situated Theatre Royal is easy whether you are arriving by car, bus or on foot. As we approached the impressive building we knew we were in for a wonderful evening. As always, we were warmly greeted by the front of house staff and directed to the box office to collect our tickets and programme.
Once settled into our seats – which gave us a brilliant view of the stage and orchestra – the Royal Ballet Sinfonia (conducted by Paul Murphy) started to play the wonderful Prokofiev score and the evening began.
The ballet consisted of three acts, with two intervals when we were able to get drinks from the well organised bars.
Act 1 quickly set the scene for the audience as the Capulets and Montagues danced a wonderfully choreographed sword fight which built up the drama and tension essential to the production. When Romeo (danced by Iain Mackay) and Juliet (danced by Jenna Robertson) eventually met at the masked ball, the chemistry between them was immediately obvious and well portrayed through their dances. How lovely to see Marion Tait again joining the cast to take the role of Juliet’s nurse. The much loved balcony scene – with a faultless pas-de-deux – brought Act 1 to a fitting end.
Act 2 saw drastic changes of mood from the romance of Romeo and Juliet’s secret marriage to the drama of the market place. It was here that Romeo’s friend Mercutio was tragically killed by Juliet’s cousin Tybalt. In a fit of revenge, Romeo killed Tybalt and was banished from Verona and his love – Juliet. With tensions high, there was another short break before we were led into the third – and last – dramatic act.
The whole production was a pleasure to watch. With such great music by Sergio Prokofiev and beautiful choreography by Kenneth MacMillan, the whole cast worked as one to give an enthralling evening. The dancers danced with such ease and grace – the fluidity of Juliet in her death scene was truly amazing with total relaxation throughout the emotional pas-de-deux.
With brilliant stage setting, superb costume detail and dramatic lighting, all the necessary elements combined to result in a great performance.
Under the direction of David Bintley CBE the Birmingham Royal Ballet have again produced an enthralling ballet which was a pleasure to watch. With plans to return in October with a brand new Shakespeare ballet – the Tempest – I am sure Plymouth will warmly welcome them back.
A well – deserved 5 star rating for this brilliant company.
Tickets cost from £15 to £38 (booking fees may apply).
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet is at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth until 16 April 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01752 267222.
Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, PL1 2TR | 01752 267222