Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet ***
English National Ballet, Southampton, 31st October 2015
Death lurks around every corner in Rudolf Nureyev’s Romeo and Juliet, created for English National Ballet (then named London Festival Ballet) back in 1977 and energetically performed here. Soon after the parchment frontcloth rises, three fates throw dice and a cart trundles past carrying plague victims. A beggar keels over within seconds of Romeo having given him a coin. Verona’s high mortality rate is inflated by the bitter feud between the Montagues and the Capulets. Ezio Frigerio’s costumes and umber sets plunge us straight into Renaissance Italy, complete with athletic flag throwers straight out of Siena’s “Palio”.
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