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Northern Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet - Nottingham Review

Reviewed by Amber
Tickets were gifted in return for an honest review

The Northern Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet offers a commanding set that moves as fluidly as its dancers, an orchestra of supreme talent and a stage as busy as the score, skilfully conducted by Daniel Parkinson.

Dominique Larose and Joseph Taylor. Photo by Emily Nuttall

The story begins with Romeo (Joseph Taylor) and Juliet (Abigail 
Prudames) stood on set pieces that resemble intricate stone-carved pillars, reaching for each other before being cruelly torn away as a harsh crack of thunder sounds. The scene is laid and Verona bursts to life with the entire company dancing onto the stage in impressive costume.

The scenes involving the entire company are a joy; creating a busy, never-slowing environment that feeds the eyes. When the dancing evolves into a fight between the Capulet and Montague families, you feel the weight each hit as the once graceful moves become heavy and direct. 

The second act of Romeo & Juliet focuses entirely on the day after the party, when a furious Tybalt (Harry Skoupas) and his lackeys threaten the Montague family, leading to a violent fight between Tybalt and Mercutio, danced on the night by Harris Beattie. Once Mercutio is stabbed, Beattie’s movement degrade as his body grows weaker and more tired, until he drops dead mid-celebration for winning the fight. It is then that Romeo kills Tybalt in revenge, leading his banishment in a thrilling end to the 25 minute act that had the entire audience gasping in surprise. 

Photo by Emily Nuttall

In the third act, Romeo all but disappears from the stage after the first few minutes, instead keeping us with Juliet as she struggles with her arranged marriage and decides to play dead to escape and be with her true love. 
Padames’ Juliet suffers over the decision to drink the potion that will cause her to seem dead, long agonising moments spent keeping the vial at arms length. Her fear is translated beautifully through these movements, and it is a relief when she finally does drink the vial. This sequence is a particular stand out that embodies Juliet’s journey perfectly. 

The rest of the act feels quite confusing; the lack of Romeo through the third act has left his journey forgotten, and his return to the stage creates questions that do no get answered by the ballet.

The Northern Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet does not offer a new perspective on the story, and relies on slapstick comedic relief from the Nurse, who is physically abused by almost every character with a name, which could prove to be off-putting. 

What the ballet does provide is a beautiful, large-scale production that feels full, colourful and powerful, leaving you with enough visual splendour to leave the theatre satisfied with the retelling of one of the most well-known stories on earth.


Northern Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet plays at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal until 4th May, with tickets available at: and continues to tour until 26th October 2024. Venues can be found here:

Aaron Kok and Company. Photo by Emily Nuttall 

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