The Kings Theatre, Portmsouth – Saturday 9 February 2019
Reviewed by Leanne Caplis
Based on the love story by William Shakespeare, Sergey Prokofiev and the Moscow City Ballet bring to the stage Romeo and Juliet. Moscow City Ballet are touring with this show amongst others including ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Swan Lake’.
Having read the story of Romeo and Juliet many years ago I was eager to see it performed on stage and as I hadn’t been to a ballet before I was hoping to be in for a treat. In hindsight I wish I had refreshed myself on the story line as I did get lost on more than one occasion and it was only afterwards I realised Juliet was only a young girl; the show does not portray this well.
I thought the scenery and staging could have been better and the moving of props a bit more fluid. The backdrops were very basic with what appeared to be just painted curtains and whilst the cast did try to move the props discretely there were moments were my eyes were taken away from the dancing to watch the props being moved around.
The costumes were good and there were many costume changes throughout the show. Too many quick costume changes could have added to the occasional wardrobe malfunctions of ballet shows slipping off the dancers feet.
The ballet performed by Lilia Orekhove and Danil Orlov stood out for me. I was in awe watching Lilia and the length of time she could remain on her toes. Danil was not only superb on his feet but his facial expressions really told the story.
Bravo to the orchestra who were extremely talented musicians. I thought in parts they could have been louder; ballet is a silent production and it would have perhaps been awarded more stars had I not been able to hear the dancers feet landing on the stage throughout.
The show for me was too long, at approximately three hours. There are two intervals and by the end of the show I found myself getting a little bit bored and ready to leave. This might be a result of ballet not being the type of show I would usually watch and ballet enthusiasts might feel different.
Overall, I’m glad I watched it as I can now say I have been to a ballet but I’m not sure it would be my show of choice in future. I think those who are a fan of the ballet would enjoy it but for those, like me, where it is a first you might want to consider something a bit shorter or a storyline you know well.