Romeo and Juliet review, The Royal Ballet: Francesca Hayward is luminous in this loving revival

On stage, at least, The Royal Ballet looks like a company on strong form, with a loving revival of one of its calling cards

Zoe Anderson
Wednesday 06 October 2021 12:30
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<p>Cesar Corrales and Francesca Hayward as Romeo and Juliet</p>

Cesar Corrales and Francesca Hayward as Romeo and Juliet

After a careful summer, The Royal Ballet reopens its post-lockdown season with the packed stage of Romeo and Juliet. Passionate duets, wrangling families and Renaissance brawls jostle together. Led by Francesca Hayward’s luminous Juliet, this is a first night of high energy and drama.

It comes after a year of disruption, caused not just by the pandemic but by the death of Royal Ballet-trained choreographer Liam Scarlett following accusations of sexual misconduct. As a consequence, the company has faced serious questions about its organisational culture.

On stage, at least, it looks like a company on strong form, with a loving revival of one of its calling cards. Created in 1965, Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo is big and robust, matching the Prokofiev score. Nicholas Georgiadis’s designs are richly monumental, while the first night brought out a lot of stars.

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