Theatre review: Scottish Ballet - Romeo & Juliet

THIS is the third outing in seven years for Krzysztof Pastor’s Shakespearean adaptation – and it’s easy to see why Scottish Ballet keeps bringing it back.

Sophie Martin reprises her role as a believable, moving Juliet. Picture: JP

Scottish Ballet: Romeo & Juliet - King’s Theatre, Glasgow


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On more than one occasion, the Polish choreographer delivers moments of such spine-tingling brilliance, it could bring a tear to the eye (and that’s before you get to the heart-breaking finale).

Sometimes it comes down to astute staging, with Pastor creating an icy air of dramatic tension simply by positioning people in interesting places. At other times it’s his movement, which switches seamlessly between profoundly beautiful classical ballet and unexpected, almost quirky contemporary dance – via routines that wouldn’t look out of place in a musical (or more specifically – and appropriately – West Side Story). In the hands of another company, less proficient at characterisation, much of this would feel artificial and potentially awkward. The level of intensity required, of both love and hate, doesn’t travel across the orchestra pit unless everyone buys into their role, but thankfully, the current crop of Scottish Ballet dancers have bought Shakespeare’s tale, and Pastor’s vision, wholesale.

From the cheeky antics of Victor Zarallo’s Mercutio to the power-wielding chill of Owen Thorne’s Capulet and Christopher Harrison’s Tybalt, the male characters run the gamut from banter to brutality.

Sophie Martin and Erik Cavallari, meanwhile, reprising their roles as the love-struck teens, are locked into each other’s eyes, and hearts, from the get-go, leading to a genuinely moving death scene where we truly feel their pain.

Seen on 23.04.14On tour until 24 May.