Romeo and Juliet at The Lowry
To the Lowry for the Matthew Bourne's New Adventures production of Romeo and Juliet with a new arrangement of Prokofiev's original score. This company has 100 young dancers and artists all making debuts, including 6 local dancers age 16 - 19. Much anticipation that this is a very fresh and exciting production. House packed.
No disappointment whatsoever. Setting was ( deliberately ) ambiguous, an institute of some sort, but enough simplicity to allow the viewer their own interpretation. School? Prison? Punishment? Protection?
Young people dance together initially, but sexes are segregated and interaction actively discouraged. A guard appears, menacing and powerful, we soon witness an abuse of power which is shocking and gripping in its execution.
Cast are ( mostly ) all in white. Delicate, yet strong and fluid movement. Mesmerising from the start. Constantly changing style with each scene, which is a delight.
These are young and fresh dancers, performing a mixture of classic dance, street moves, hip hop and, at times, dance coming from the sheer joy of expression through movement. Anyone could be inspired to dance from watching this.
The original musical score was re written for this production with a pared down, punchy sound that made the familiar music modern, new, fresh. Worked beautifully with the scene setting, at times menacing, humorous, sexy, irreverent, romantic, violent.
A small live orchestra was a real treat to hear, each performer played several instruments!
Lighting provided huge changes in atmosphere and scale effortlessly, indoors and outdoors.
This is a tale of power, control, rebellion, delusion, love, obsession and tragedy.
We were captivated by it from start to finish. Utterly superb production. Highly recommended.
Thanks to the Lowry staff for welcoming hospitality as always.
Only on until this Saturday at the Lowry, but is touring throughout the country.
Christine Ince for Canal St Online.