WEEK IN REVIEW

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The Independent Culture
THE FILM

Romeo + Juliet

THE BALLET

La Bayadere

THE PLAY

Hurlyburly

The latest Bard-pic, this time from Baz (Strictly Ballroom) Luhrmann, who directs Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes in his adaptation of "the greatest love story the world has ever known", also starring Miriam Margolyes and Pete Postlethwaite.

Cert 12, 126 mins, on general release.

Adam Mars-Jones praised the "witty" film for being "strongly and even rampantly cinematic". "Brilliant production design ... an astonishingly detailed and convincing parallel universe," hailed The Telegraph. "Kicks Shakespearean cinema in the pants and gives young audiences a good time. Do not fear for Shakespeare, he can take it," smiled The Times. "The best Shakespeare picture yet made," yelled the Mail. "This Romeo and Juliet sucks," exploded The Standard.

Cheeky, invigorating stuff made with zip, wit and considerable visual flair.

Natalia Makarova's Kirov reconstruction of Petipa's three-act classic, a tale of love, murder and revenge danced by Bussell, Guillem, Zelensky and Royal Ballet's `A'- list principals and the corps de ballet in the famous procession of arabesques.

Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri at Covent Garden, London WC2 (0171-304 4000).

Louise Levene lamented the production but was wild for Guillem. "The capacity audience sat on their hands as if reluctant to break the spell." "Enjoyable kitsch ... its two biggest stars, Bussell and Guillem ... should have swapped places," frowned The Times. "Hilarious, hokey and sometimes heartbreaking, nights at the ballet don't come any more fun," grinned The Guardian. "It is for just this kind of triumphant absurdity that artistry turns ham into caviar," drooled The Telegraph.

Check the daily cast changes but see the "when in doubt, ham it up" show if only for the radiant corps de ballet.

The tardy British premiere of David Rabe's caustic 1984 comedy about men behaving badly in the Hollywood jungle, with Rupert Graves, Daniel Craig, Stephen Dillane and Elizabeth McGovern, directed by Wilson Milam.

In rep in Sir Peter Hall's season at the Old Vic, London SE1 (0171-928 7616) Paul Taylor gave high praise to both performances and production of "this savagely funny look at men floundering". "Outstanding ... and disturbing ... as if we are caught up in some post-modern, drug-crazed screwball comedy," enthused The Telegraph. "Would be worth attention if it had been relegated to the bottom of a plague pit in Mortlake," marvelled The Times. "A most memorable despatch from one of the main-lines in the sex war," intoned The Standard.

Not a short show, but worth it for the energetic acting of a smart-mouthed script.

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