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Romeo and Juliet

Published Monday 21 October 2013 at 10:21 by Sarah Frater

Since its creation in 1965, the Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet has been a favourite with audiences, and the choice role for dancers, be it the leads of Romeo and Juliet or the many characters that people Shakespeare’s tale of star-crossed lovers. The Royal Ballet’s current run of the romantic tear-jerker opened with Lauren Cuthbertson and Federico Bonelli in the title roles. Both are skilled dancers who have now come to the fore due to recent exits. Here, they shine, Bonelli as the gentle-natured Romeo and Cuthbertson as the impetuous Juliet.

The Royal Ballet-grown Cuthbertson is slender of limb, with lovely arms and hands that seem to float in the air. Bonelli has kitten-soft feet, a rare quality in male dancers but spot-on for Romeo, indicating his gentle nature and easy romanticism. It provides the perfect contrast to Ricardo Cerera’s Mercutio, Romeo’s larky chum who dances as spikily and daringly as he lives. Dawid Trzensimiech’s Benvoio makes less impact, although Laura Morera leads the three harlots with lascivious panache with Romany Pajdak and Laura McCulloch willing collaborators in her sensuous game.

The rest of the Royal Ballet dancers performed with duty rather than inspiration, with some of the crowd scenes in Act I and Act II marked rather than authentically acted. However, the orchestra was inspired, with conductor Barry Wordsworth providing a sumptuous and amorous account of Prokofiev’s score. Next to this, the sets and costumes felt dated.

Production information

Royal Opera House, London, October 19-December 7

Sergey Prokofiev
Kenneth MacMillan
Barry Wordsworth
Royal Opera House
Lauren Cuthbertson, Federico Bonelli, Ricardo Cervera, Gary Avis, Dawid Trzensimiech, Valeri Hristov, Christopher Saunders, Elizabeth McGorian, Bennet Gartside, Christina Arestis, Genesia Rosato, Alistair Marriott, Olivia Cowley, Laura Morera, Romany Pajdak, Laura McCulloch, artists of The Royal Ballet
Running time:

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014