Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of Romeo and Juliet. It was last on stage 19 October—7 December 2013 as part of the Autumn 2013/14 season.
When Romeo and Juliet meet at a ball they fall passionately in love. But their families are sworn enemies, divided by a bitter feud. Can they stay together against a backdrop of hatred and hostility?
Kenneth MacMillan brings a contemporary interpretation to Sergei Prokofiev's classic score. His version of the ballet draws out the emotional and psychological intensity at the heart of the tale. Romeo and Juliet contains three passionate pas de deux: from the lovers' first meeting and the famous balcony scene to the devastating final tragedy. The lovers' story is set against a wonderful evocation of 16th-century Verona: a bustling market place erupts into a violent sword fight and a lavish ball is held at an elegant mansion.
MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet first arrived at Covent Garden in 1965. Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn took the title roles. The performance received a rapturous reception, with 43 curtain calls and almost fotry minutes of applause. It has been at the heart of the Company’s repertory ever since, amassing more than four hundred performances. This classic production has been toured around the world. It was recently adapted for arena-scale performances at the O2 Arena, keeping MacMillan’s vision powerfully alive in the 21st century.
News and features
13 February 2015
We've scoured the repertory in search of the most romantic ballets for Valentine's Day.
5 February 2015
These expert dancer-actors are as important to the drama as the leading lady.
20 November 2014
How and where choreographers find stories has changed throughout the art form's history.
31 July 2014
The Royal Ballet Principal on why he loves MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet.
7 November 2013
How England's most famous playwright belongs to the world.
22 October 2013
What did you think of the return of Kenneth MacMillan's Shakespearean Royal Ballet production?
Choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Royal Ballet production of Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on 9 February 1965.MacMillan had previously choreographed the balcony scene for Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable to dance in September 1964 for Canadian Television. This experience made him seem a good candidate to choreograph the entire ballet for Covent Garden, when the Soviet Union refused to allow Leonid Lavrovsky's classic production to tour to London. MacMillan prepared his version with the blessing of Frederick Ashton, and Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev brought new life to the characters, as did the set and costume designs by Nicholas Georgiadis; Fonteyn, considered to be near retirement, embarked upon a rejuvenated career with a partnership with Nureyev.Though MacMillan had created the ballet on Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable, for "bureaucratic reasons" Fonteyn and Nureyev danced the opening night, to MacMillan's disappointment.The production was filmed and received a cinematic release in 1966.