ROMEO & JULIET
Review from our Opening Performance at the Egg, Bath by Listomania
15 February, 2016
While there have been any number of retellings of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, few could be as compelling, dramatic and utterly relevant as this wonderfully creative interpretation by the Let’s All Dance company, that plays today and tomorrow at the egg theatre, Bath.
Aimed at younger audiences of nine years and older, it compacts the story into an intense 40 minute retelling using a innovative blend of ballet and hip hop, combined with a thoroughly modern setting and music to bring the tale of star-crossed lovers right up to date.
While the actors enter the stage to the dramatic classic tones of Montagues and Capulets from Prokofiev’s ballet of Romeo and Juliet, even this wonderful piece of musical drama is revisited through the accompanying street dance style of high-energy hip hop, with the cast’s dance talent and physical prowess combining with their stage presence and facial expressions to tell the story without spoken words. From then on, however, the music takes on an edgier, far more modern turn, with the suitably attired performers showing the young lovers from rival gangs noticing each other across the dance and starting on their inevitably tragic road together.
While the central theme of teenage love is timeless, this modern retelling interweaves the tale with the very modern subject of cyberbullying – complete with text message displayed as part of the production’s backdrop. Meanwhile, the scene showing the two main protagonists choosing their outfits for a meeting later that night will surely ring a bell for audience members from across the generations.
To pick out any single member of this hugely talented cast for special praise would be to do the rest an injustice – this is a memorable and at times dark and emotional ensemble piece that will act as a wonderful example of the timeless nature of the bard’s storytelling genius. While younger children may well struggle with the production and its portrayal of themes including bullying and suicide, for anyone nine years and older, this is top class creative theatre and typical of the quality that you can expect from productions at the egg.
Editor, The Bath & Wiltshire Parent
The timeless tale of Romeo & Juliet has been told thousands of times and in hundreds of ways. Yet its exploration of the human condition and universal emotions including love, jealousy and loss ensures it transcends time, cultures and even language, and is a story that must be told time and again.
Let’s All Dance’s edgy, explosive production engages audiences of all ages, especially young people, with its very first high energy Hip Hop step.
Fantastic dancing, crystal clear story-telling and engaging characters create a gripping show.
Running time: 45 minutes + photo opportunity
Recommended for age 9+