Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of Romeo and Juliet. It was last on stage 19 September—2 December 2015 as part of the Autumn 2015/16 season.
Romeo and Juliet fall passionately in love, but their families are sworn enemies. The lovers marry in secret before Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin Tybalt in a fight and is banished from the city.
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Kenneth MacMillan poignant setting of Sergey Prokofiev’s classic score draws out the emotional and psychological intensity of the tale. Romeo and Juliet contains three passionate pas de deux: the lovers’ first meeting, the famous balcony scene and the devastating final tragedy, in which Romeo dances desperately with the lifeless Juliet. The story is set against a wonderful evocation of 16th-century Verona, and includes a bustling marketplace that erupts into a violent sword fight, and a lavish ball held in an elegant mansion.
MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet first arrived at Covent Garden in 1965. Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn took the title roles on the opening night – MacMillan had originally created the work on Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable. Nevertheless, Fonteyn and Nureyev’s performance had a rapturous reception, with 43 curtain calls and almost forty minutes of applause. The ballet 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 and in 2011 was adapted for arena-scale performances at the O2 Arena.
News and features
15 April 2016
Shakespeare Day insights event focuses on operas and ballets inspired by the playwright's work, including The Winter's Tale, Romeo and Juliet and Otello.
2 October 2015
Five hours of rehearsals, interviews and behind the scenes insights from The Royal Ballet.
25 September 2015
Fifty years after the ballet had its premiere, we take a look at the beautiful costumes for MacMillan’s iconic ballet.
23 September 2015
Backstage films from the live relay of Romeo and Juliet including rehearsal footage and exclusive interviews.
22 September 2015
What did you think of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet of Shakespeare's tragic tale?
22 September 2015
Catch up on our real-time commentary on the live cinema and BP Big Screen relay of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet.
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.