Birmingham Royal Ballet Company make a pleasing return to the Lowry in Salford to continue their Shakespeare Season which commemorates the 400 year anniversary since William Shakespeare’s death. There is no better adaptation to bring to the stage then Kenneth MacMillan’s much celebrated classic interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, which is still as fresh and as exhilarating as when it was first performed in 1965.
The tale of the star-crossed lovers is set to Sergei Prokofiev’s magnificent score, featuring ‘Dance of the Knights’ which many will recognise as the opening theme tune of BBC television show The Apprentice. However, there are no novices in this beautiful production, only stand-out performances from emotive storytellers loaded with technical brilliance.
Paul Andrews’ stunning and detailed design conjures up all of the hustle and bustle of Verona amidst the feud of the two rival families – The Montagues and The Capulets. Like a medieval masterpiece framed by a proscenium arch, the dancers glisten under John B Read’s lighting design.
Momoko Hirata impresses as the dainty, vulnerable but determined Juliet – a masterful storyteller and graceful dancer. From jesting with her nurse, who is brilliantly played by Ruth Brill, to the final harrowing scene when she finds Romeo lying cold next to her in the charnel house. Hirata handles the transitions between the varying emotions superbly in this beautiful but ill-fated love story. Joseph Caley is well cast as Romeo, charming and impulsive in love – Caley expresses the immaturity of young love during his brief passage from boyhood to death.
The Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet is a stunningly impressive production. With Prokofiev’s epic musical score delivered powerfully by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Kenneth MacMillan’s acclaimed choreography and Paul Andrews’ picture-perfect design, the talented company deliver a beautiful performance of the most tragic love story ever told.
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet continues at the Lowry until Saturday 5th March 2016.
With First Steps: A Child’s The Dream on Friday, March 4 at 1 pm. A delightful ballet adaptation of A Midsummer Nights Dream recommended for ages 3-7.