A timeless tale, a modern classic but an aged retelling. An attempt at modernisation that doesn’t quite find it’s mark, gunplay in place of swords, dancing in the place words but you have to ask yourself, isn’t that a good thing?
Well on the 19th of June 2019 I found out the answer to that very question when I attended Sir Mathew Bourne’s retelling of the classic tale of Romeo And Juliet at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.
I have to pretence this review with a disclaimer that this was my first true ‘press’ experience. I started the show by picking up tickets from the press desk and ended it with a networking session with other reviewers, it was very star striking.
Even though the dance pieces confused me at first I started recognising scenes from the classic retellings such as Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie of the same subject matter which happens to be the closest example I have to this stage piece.
The actors held their own throughout the entire piece which is commendable with a production of the magnitude, I have seen stage productions in the past where stage presence is all over the place and it becomes painful to watch, but not this.
My only complaint is that Romeo and Juliet blended in a little too much to the cast in some of the group pieces, I would have liked to see them shine through as the obvious leading characters. An opportunity maybe for more striking costumes to differentiate the two from the others.
Set and Props
The set was gorgeous, the prison scene look felt real and was visually striking, my only gripe with this part was the use of the gun, it felt forced, no sign of a firearm previously until that scene. I fully understand it was designed for shock value and it served it’s purpose well but in every telling of a story whether it be modern or classical there were consistent themes of weapons throughout. So when one is finally used it makes sense however it felt like the gun was thrown in for the sake of throwing a gun in, it broke the sense of disbelief.
The piece was scored beautifully however the same song was used throughout and was quite jarring in my opinion. Would have been refreshing to have other pieces through-out to add variety.
Overall I enjoyed my first experience of the Wales Millennium Centre and hope to return again in the future. Although Romeo and Juliet is not normally something that appeals to my interests, I did enjoy and would recommend going to see this production if you had a chance this weekend.
Thanks again to the staff at the WMC for allowing to review the production as press and for their hospitality, they were very welcoming.
Romeo and Juliet runs from Tuesday 18th June to Saturday 22nd June. You can purchase tickets HERE.