Review | Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet at Birmingham Hippodrome

Working with a classic tale and matching it with stunning choreography is a guaranteed way of ensuring a brilliant night of entertainment, as we found out Wednesday night watching Matthew Bourne’s modern take on Romeo and Juliet – now on at the Hippodrome.

This New Adventures production has brought together a wealth of young dancing talent from across the UK and has reimagined the Shakespeare story for 2019, alongside the superb and timeless score by Sergei Prokofiev.

Seren Williams ‘Juliet’ and Andrew Monaghan ‘Romeo’ and The Company.Credit: Johan Persson.

Set in the ‘Verona Institute’ the two lovers are confined by white, sterile walls and are controlled by heavy handed wardens, determined to put a stop to the romance.  There are large and impressive segments with the male and female factions of the institute fighting, flirting and dancing, in the midst of which, our two lovers meet and fall in love.

There is high drama throughout, helped by innovative choreography that has moved away from the traditional ballet versions and brought modern take which brings the production a fresh feel to reflect this young and prodigious cast.

Andrew Monaghan ‘Romeo’ and The Company. Credit: Johan Persson

The ending in particular was as visceral and engaging as any version of Romeo and Juliet you are likely to see, and was not only danced impeccably by Andy Monaghan (Romeo) and Seren Williams (Juliet) but also acted brilliantly too.

It was a packed house on Wednesday night, and by the end everyone was standing to applause a truly awe inspiring show that will continue on a nationwide tour next week.

But there is still time to nab a ticket, as the run at the Hippodrome is until Saturday, September 14. Do not delay!

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