“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
No matter whether you know Romeo & Juliet from Shakespeare’s play, Luhrmann’s film or even Bernstein’s musical, this archetypal tale of star-crossed lovers is both universal and timeless. Now, Scottish Ballet treat us to a revival of their contemporary take on Romeo & Juliet, choreographed by Krzysztof Pastor and first performed at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre in 2008.
Set in Verona and spanning three different decades of the 20th century, this ballet is surprisingly sparse and modern in style. No fancy costumes or extraneous scenery cluttering up the stage. Instead, simplicity is the order of the day, with projected backdrops and muted colour palettes. The title roles were danced by Remi Andreoni and Bethany Kingsley-Garner in the Saturday matinée performance at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow. Both dancers were excellent but Daniel Davidson as Mercutio and Victor Zarallo as Tybalt should be singled out for the finesse they brought to the slow burn from goading to full-on violence that ultimately sets the tragedy of Romeo & Juliet in motion.
The key musical signature of Prokofiev’s classic score will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen reality TV show The Apprentice. Performed live by the brilliant Scottish Ballet Orchestra playing under the baton of guest conductor Enrique Carreon-Robledo, it was dark, dramatic and gripping. No wonder that the musicians received such loud and appreciative applause during the curtain call.
Touring until the end of the month, you can still catch Romeo & Juliet in Inverness, Edinburgh and London.