Ballet review: Romeo and Juliet at The Royal Ballet

The Royal Ballet delivers another majestic production of Prokofiev’s crowd-pleaser

First created in 1965, Kenneth McMillan’s classic production of Romeo and Juliet returns for its umpteenth revival at the Royal Opera House. On this form it’s easy to see it remaining in the repertoire for another 47 years.

Crowds will doubtless flock to see Cuban dance sensation Carlos Acosta as Romeo but it’s Tamara Rojo’s Juliet who steals the show. Now an experienced Juliet, she is effortlessly mesmerising; playful and innocent at the start, elegantly distant during her dance with Paris and beautifully lifeless after taking the poison.

The chemistry between Acosta and Rojo is absorbing, particularly as the production nears its tragic conclusion. It may only be January but Act 3 is already a contender for the finest piece of ballet you’ll see in London this year.

There’s real strength in depth on display too: the three harlots and Jos� Mart�n’s Mercutio all stand out. Energetic sword-fighting and lots of bustle from the corps de ballet give the production enough energy to feel much shorter than three hours.

The orchestra were a little patchy and scratchy during Act 1, uncharacteristically so, but soon found their stride in Acts 2 and 3, immersing the audience in Prokofiev’s beautiful score. Running until 7th March, ballet fans should jump at the chance to see this evergreen production and some of the capital’s most-talented dancers.

* Romeo and Juliet is at The Royal Ballet at The Royal Opera House, WC2.