This Shakespearean tale of rivalry between the Capulets and Montagues focuses on the ill-fated love affair between Juliet (the sensational Martha Leebolt) and Romeo (the equally passionate Giuliano Contadini). It is artfully choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot, Jerome Kaplan’s costumes clearly delinetate the competing clans and Profokiev’s music is simply masterful as it is performed live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia. Ernest Pignon-Ernest’s minimal set designs really do work to frame the action without distraction and Dominique Drillot’s serves as a crucial creative thrust to enhance the sets.
Antoinette Brooks-Daw serves as comic relief with her exaggerated gestures and movement, though it is not so comic when she finds Romeo in Juliet’s bed! Lucia Solari as Lady Capulet is suitably stern and regal but the stand-out performance in the supporting cast has to be Friar Lawrence with Mlindi Kulashe’s slim athletic physique allowing him a spritely and striking role.
The balcony scene is done with great imagination despite its seeming simplicity and, of course, Juliet’s apparent ‘death’ (the result of the Friar’s potion) sends waves of emotion throughout the cast. There is a tragic end for both lovers played with melancholic aplomb. This show is up there with the best of Northern Ballet’s repertoire with an urgent narrative quest met with some brilliant dance techniques.
;Be sure to book now for Christmas’ Beauty & the Best and Spring’s Casanova for more balletic magic.