Mature Times reviews Romeo & Juliet at the Bristol Hippodrome
Take Rudolf Nureyev’s inventive and passionate choreography; Prokofiev’s exhilarating score and Shakespeare’s most famous tragic love story, and what you get is a truly spellbinding, mesmerising and emotional performance.
Full of action, drama and humour, Rudolf Nureyev’s award-winning choreography of Romeo & Juliet was especially created for the English National Ballet in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The Company has performed it worldwide on many occasions since, all to critical acclaim, and to mark its 40th anniversary, they have bought the production to the Bristol Hippodrome where MT were lucky enough to see the performance.
Sumptuous costumes and sets recreate Renaissance Verona in all its grandeur and delicious colour. The bustling piazza is complete with market traders, street entertainers, and the feuding Capulet and Montague families. Later, amidst the grandeur of the Capulet’s ball, the star-crossed lovers meet and a fateful sequence of events is unleashed.
The English National Ballet Philharmonic’s performance of Prokofiev’s memorable score, conducted by Gavin Sutherland, is a real treat in itself and, along with the spectacular dancing, leaves you spell bound. The music is dramatic, emotional and descriptive, conveying the mood and atmosphere to great effect and this famous score will be with you long after you’ve left the theatre.
The piazza scenes are full of action; in fact you may need to the see production twice to make sure you don’t miss anything! As well as the emotion and drama there are some great moment of humour and frivolity too. Mercutio is wonderfully impish and full of mischief.
It seems trite to say that the dancing was excellent but it was truly awe-inspiring to watch. The superb cast on the night we attended included: Aaron Robison (Romeo); Jurgita Dronina (Juliet); Pedro Lapetra (Mercutio); James Forbat (Benvolio); Fabian Reimar (Tybalt); Laura Hussey (Nurse); Stina Quagebeur (Lady Capulet); Daniel Krause (Lord Capulet); Lucinda Strachan (Lady Montague) and Dominic Hickie (Lord Montague).
The soloists seemed to just hang in the air as they flew across the stage and the speed with which they combined lifts, arabesques and jumps was jaw dropping. Making the dancing look so effortless must take an incredible amount of stamina, strength and control, and is only to be admired. Jurgita Dronina’s performance as Juliet was particularly note worthy. The emotions she put into her performance were just wonderful; from the youthful joy of her first ball and first love, to the overwhelming heart breaking sadness of tragic loss. The final scenes are full of heart-rending sadness and high-octane emotion.
A fabulous night out and to coin a current phrase; ‘A-maz-ing’!
You can see Romeo & Juliet at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 25th November 2017.
For tickets and more information please go to: www.atgtickets.com/bristol