City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Romeo and Juliet Review

By Barbara Bryan - Posted on 14 May 2008

Show Details
Scottish Ballet
Sergei Prokofiev, music; Krzysztof Pastor, Choreography; Tatyana van Walsum, design; Yvon Visser, set design assistant; Monique Ichen Roth, costume design assistant; Bert Dalhuysen, lighting design; Willem Bruls, dramaturgy
Erik Cavallari, Romeo; Sophie Martin, Juliet; Paul Liburd, Mercutio; Luke Ahmet, Benvolio; Jarkko Lehmus, Capulet; Limor Ziv, his wife; Tama Barry, Tybalt; Oliver Rydout, Friar Lawrence; Soon Ja Lee, Martina Forioso, Juliet's friends; Artists of Scottish Ballet; Richard Honner, Conductor; members of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra
Running time: 

Scottish Ballet's new interpretation of the tragic tale of star-crossed lovers is spellbinding. Krzysztof Pastor's choreography brings out the best in the dancers to create an exhilarating, memorable production.

The dancing is superb. In particular Paul Liburd as Mercutio, Romeo's foil, who portrays this comic character with skilful agility; Tama Barry, the protagonist Tybalt from the rival Capulet family; Eric Cavallari as Romeo, who vibrantly interprets the agonies associated with unbridled passion and Sophie Martin, as Juliet, who exquisitely portrays the ardour and innocence of youth caught up in unexpected turbulent love.

The production is set in the 20th century, spanning a period of some 60 years - beginning with the aftermath of the first world war and ending in battle torn Kosovo. Designer Tatyana van Walsum makes effective use with a minimalist set: the backdrop of archival film and video footage encapsulates the desolation and devastation surrounding enduring conflict - a metaphor for the generational conflict involving the feuding Montague and Capulet families.

Pastor has successfully choreographed the aggressive antagonism felt by the two families towards one another - in the market place, at the ball. The fight scene where Mercutio is fatally stabbed by Tybalt, who is in turn killed by Romeo, is very dramatic. He has also taken some liberties with Shakespeare's story. There is no Nurse nor Paris, choosing as he does to focus on the issue of arranged marriages rather than having Paris as Juliet's father's choice of suitor. And throughout the ballet the couple are never left alone. Figures lurk in the background, mirroring the ominous undertones in Prokofiev's score for Romeo and Juliet.

Conducted by Richard Honner, the Scottish Ballet orchestra produced sumptuous sounds from Prokofiev's music. The famous Montagues and Capulets Suite resounded loud and clear, emphasising the power struggle between these two sparring families and the inevitability of a tragic ending.


Edinburgh Festival Theatre - 14 May, 7.30pm

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen - 21/ 24 May, 7.30pm

Eden Court, Inverness - 28/ 3l May, 7.30pm

Theatre Royal, Glasgow - 4/ 7 June, 7.30pm

Thereafter touring.