Thursday, 5 November 2015

Theatre 2015: Review Thirty-Five

Romeo and Juliet, The The Royal Opera House, London. October 2015.

Earlier in the year mum and I saw Romeo and Juliet at the Globe and I mentioned then that I'd been writing about the play for my MA.  One of the essays based on the play was actually about how it translated into ballet, the version I talked about was that choreographed by Kenneth Macmillan. When mum and I found out that this adaptation was to be on stage we treated ourselves to tickets and planned an overnight trip to London to see this.

I loved the DVD version that I watched and rewatched while writing my essay but really is no comparison to seeing a filmed version and the real thing.

From the moment the conductor appeared until the last curtain call I was swept away in the story and although our seats didn't give the same close up views that the DVD did I found it more involving.

Everyone always warns you when you go to your first ballet you will be surprised by the noise the dancers' feet make.  Having seen a few contemporary Mathew Bourne ballets I thought I was prepared for this but it was more pronounced in this and I think added something - you really could see how hard the dances were and how effortless the dancers made it seem.

Our Juliet, Roberta Marquez, was such a good actress as well as dancer that I felt she was the real star of the performance we saw.  Not that Romeo wasn't good - and the two had a believable chemistry - it was just that she was outstanding.  Her growth from childhood to womanhood was portrayed wonderfully and believably.

The crowd scenes were also fabulous, being in the theatre meant that I could look all over the stage, not just where the camera man decided I should look, really opened up the scenes and added menace and foreshadowing which helped move the plot along.

The whole evening was magical and I am a firm convert to the world of ballet, however the one thing that both mum and I noticed (and were a little sad about) was that at the end the principals all took a bow but the corps de ballet were not acknowledged at all.  I'll need to see more ballet in order to find out if this is standard practice or an aberration, despite the two bunches of flowers it wasn't Marquez's last night in the role...

There is even a Norfolk link to this outing as Kenneth Macmillan was born in Great Yarmouth!

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