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Your Reaction: Romeo and Juliet in cinemas and on BP Big Screens 2015

What did you think of Kenneth MacMillan's ballet of Shakespeare's tragic tale?

By Hayley Bartley (Former Content Producer (Learning))

22 September 2015 at 10.53pm | 30 Comments

What did you think of Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo and Juliet runs until 2 December 2015. Tickets are still available.

The production is supported by Boodles and is staged with generous philanthropic support from Peter Lloyd, Lindsay and Sarah Tomlinson and the Jean Sainsbury Royal Opera House Fund.

By Hayley Bartley (Former Content Producer (Learning))

22 September 2015 at 10.53pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged BP Big Screens, by Kenneth Macmillan, cinema, Production, Romeo and Juliet, tweets, your reaction

This article has 30 comments

  1. Anne-Marie responded on 22 September 2015 at 11:05pm Reply

    Wonderfully portrayed without a single word spoken.
    Sarah Lamb so innocent and then so mature and resolved. Steven Mcrae so sweet then angry then in despair. What a roller coaster - I hope it becomes available on digital theatre - THANK YOU - to all involved - Kenneth MacMillan too

  2. Karen Collett responded on 22 September 2015 at 11:11pm Reply

    A fantastic performance by all, moving, engaging and emotional. So proud of The Royal Opera House for reaching out to a wider audience- you brought ballet to those who can't afford it. Congratulations to all the cast, their hard work paid off! Thank you!

  3. W J Owen responded on 22 September 2015 at 11:32pm Reply

    I really enjoyed the performance. R and J is my favourite ballet. I've seen this production twice before in the House but this time I was in Fact in Liverpool. These relays to cinemas are really well done. I took my mum to see it at the cinema and she said she preferred it to being in the house. The interval presentations were very interesting, especially Darcey Bussell's filmed interviews. It's good that a ballet dancer presents as she clearly knows what she's talking about and that makes a huge difference. The dancing was fantastic but I did miss a sexual chemistry between Romeo and Juliet. However, Sarah Lamb really excelled in the final Act. The orchestra don't don't sound quite on top form. A great evening of entertainment. Good to see that the culture secretary went . It would be good to see him supporting arts events in the cash strapped regions outside of London too!

    • Manna Geist responded on 19 October 2015 at 1:51pm

      Thank you for your comment! I totally agree with you on many points! The sexual chemistry was missing and the orchestra not quite on top form! It is satisfying to know someone sees what I see or hears what I hear!

  4. Catherine Preen responded on 22 September 2015 at 11:38pm Reply

    Fantastoc ballet but why was Ore Obudo commentating! His style was not suited to this wonderful sensitive programme.
    Also why is the cinema audience subjected to " adverts" etc during the interval. It is intrusive and not necessary .

  5. Lola Moruno responded on 22 September 2015 at 11:43pm Reply

    From Barcelona, Spain. Wonderful. Very good job.

  6. Ray Peters responded on 23 September 2015 at 12:04am Reply

    Ballet very good shame about the programme inner pages printed upside down
    these were not proof read

  7. Judith responded on 23 September 2015 at 12:42am Reply

    Just got home after seeing this with my daughter in Nottingham. We were swept along in the emotion and pace of this ballet. The tenderness of the pas de deux and the violence of the sword fights were fantastic. Wonderful dancing, acting and choreography, 50 glorious years

  8. Sheila Cross responded on 23 September 2015 at 9:22am Reply

    The ballet came over very well after an odd start- why were the cameras trained on the stalls circle and boxes for so long before the conductor came on? A brief summary of Act 1 could have been shown at that point, not everyone will have read the summary on the cast sheet or know the story well. Gary and Alex were standout and Sarah communicated her feelings better than I have seen before, and she and Steven danced well. I was sorry that there was no reference to Lynn and Christopher who so inspired MacMillan. I didn't expect an account of the sorry story of the first night casting but a brief reference to their participation was the least ROH could offer; there wasn't even a photo of them, just of the other 2 couples. But a joy to see Donald MacLeary talk, and so entertainingly.

  9. Vicky Hurst responded on 23 September 2015 at 10:15am Reply

    Stunning performance. Steven McRae an amazing Romeo, the look on his face when he'd killed Tybalt had me in tears. Gary Avis - the best Tybalt ever!! Any chance this would be released on DVD? Please! Please! Please!

    PS. Any news on the release date for the La Fille Mal Gardee DVD?

    • Jakegee responded on 23 September 2015 at 11:45am

      Hi Vicky! If you go to "shop" on this ROH website, you will find details that the DVD of "La Fille Mal Gardee" is available for preorder, to be released on 2nd November!

  10. Judith Phillips responded on 23 September 2015 at 10:33am Reply

    What an amazing performance.Steven McRea and Sarah Lamb just spell binding. So utterly moving in Act 3 scene 1. Congratulations on your 50th birthday and a fabulous performance by the entire cast. Thank you for the live stream for those of us not able to get to ROH. Just wonderful.So love Darcy presenting.

  11. Richard responded on 23 September 2015 at 10:42am Reply

    What an amazing performance! Sarah and Steven have such a chemistry they really bring the characters to life. The move from niaivity through maturity to the final tragedy were brought to life with such clarity they truely are masters of their art.

  12. Maggie Birket responded on 23 September 2015 at 11:30am Reply

    I can only read the above tributes with a pang of envy. We went to Bradford Centenary Square to watch the performance - it was ideal weather, a warm balmy evening but the screen was blank - a satellite problem we were told. Wanted to watch it in Leeds but preference was given to the Rugby in Millenium Square. Hugely disappointing evening as was so looking forward to it.

  13. Jakegee responded on 23 September 2015 at 11:59am Reply

    A wonderful cast and performance! The outstanding members for me were Alexander Campbell as Mercutio, Tristan Dyer as Benvolio and Gary Avis as Tybalt. Alexander's performance was perfection!! Thank you, Royal Ballet for finally providing a true professional commentator in Ore Oduba! He was obviously well prepared for his position, and a delight to watch and listen to. Admittedly Darcey is slowly improving but always needs to refer to her notes and sometimes has not even been able to name the dancers - or has done so incorrectly eg when she called Federico Bonelli "Frederico" in one of last year's cinema relays. Please keep Ori as a permanent introducer / commentator.

  14. Nick B responded on 23 September 2015 at 12:26pm Reply

    A wonderful performance by all concerned. A glorious way to spend an evening!
    The dancing, as always, superb.

    Outstanding aspects for me of this particular performance were:
    The OUTSTANDING acting, particularly by the two leads. Sarah Lamb's performance was heartbreaking.
    Alexander Campbell's mesmerizing solos.

    Any chance of a DVD?

  15. Fiona Reed responded on 23 September 2015 at 2:54pm Reply

    Saw this in a cinema in Berwick upon Tweed with a friend who hadn't seen this ballet before. She like me was spellbound by this performance. What can I say that hasn't already been said by others. Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb wonderful as always and their acting was superb, very moving. Gary Avis brilliant as Tybalt and the sword fights were very exciting. The whole cast were brilliant what a great way to open the new season! Any chance it will be on DVD, please!

  16. Manon1753 responded on 23 September 2015 at 3:04pm Reply

    From Carpentras, France. "Who needs words to understand this story" was perhaps the most heard comment. The script, the dancing, the ACTING, the stageing, the music all conspired to make giggle (oh, Juliet, your eyes when your Nurse tells that you are growing up), gasp (those fights!), wow (all those solos and pas de deux) and cry (did they really have to die?). There was even sympathy for Paris!
    The translations, when provided, were good. (But Darcey Bussell could not always be understood). There was hushed silence during the interviews with the various dancers - we all like to look in the kitchen or machine room. The broadcast itself was perfect (the sound was particularly good!) and people were delighted with the quality of the filming, wondering how this was achieved. A subject perhaps for one of those short documentaries you insert? This is the sort of stuff that brings people to ballet, and perhaps, one day, when they can afford it, and live close by, to the theatre for a live show. Quite a few people around me had discovered ballet for the first time last year and were now firmly hooked and had taken subscriptions for all the live broadcasts!
    The cinema was almost packed out. It did help that the event had been included prominently in tourist office's website, that the cinema staff made us feel very welcome by providing warm food and drinks for those who, like me, had come from a long way away and were facing a long drive home on narrow mountainous roads late at night. The whole thing turned out to be a WONDERFUL evening out: artistically almost unmatched (I've been watching almost 40 years of R&J performances), socially a meeting point for ballet and music lovers who are otherwise widely dispersed and have no other reason to ever meet each other. The Royal Ballet at its artistic and social best!! THANK YOU (bis)

  17. HelenAitch responded on 23 September 2015 at 3:20pm Reply

    Absolutely wonderful dancing and superb acting.
    Sarah lamb looked just like an innocent young Juliette

  18. pauline hazelwood responded on 23 September 2015 at 4:11pm Reply

    would LOVE to know if there was to be a dvd of ROMEO AND JULIET .

  19. Alice Wheeler responded on 23 September 2015 at 6:02pm Reply

    Thank you to the ROH for another wonderful evening.Superb performance by all involved, lovely to be able to escape from the world for a few memorable hours in my busy life.

  20. Rob Plymouth responded on 24 September 2015 at 9:42am Reply

    R&J at the Big Screen, Plymouth. As the friar secretly married Romeo and Juliet the bells of St Andrews church across piazza were tolling. Just perfect.

  21. Hugh Axton responded on 24 September 2015 at 5:47pm Reply

    The performance of Romeo and Juliet was as gorgeous as ever. I have watched all the RB streaming's at the cinema and perhaps have become a little more discerning. During this R&J streaming I found some of the camera work not ideal for the performance. Too many close ups and one stood out when Juliet was moving across the stage on point we were given the top two thirds of her. A little more thought by the film producer please

  22. Jenny Hopton responded on 25 September 2015 at 8:32pm Reply

    I couldn't disagree more with Jakegee about Ore. Five of us went to our local cinema to see this brilliant production and we all agreed that the only downside was Ore who clearly knew nothing about ballet. Darcey is not only beautiful but she knows what she's talking about - who cares if she very occasionally checks her notes?

  23. Dawn Ramsey responded on 27 September 2015 at 6:38pm Reply

    Just back from seeing this in Saffron Walden (Sunday matinee screening). Spellbound by the ballet lead performances. My heart was in my mouth and tears in my eyes. Brought back many very happy memories of seeing it live at Covent Garden as a 10 year old, back in the days when DJ's and long dresses where obligatory for the Saturday evening performance. I did feel the orchestra let them down though, with more than one very dubious entry from the lead trumpet and a fairly disastrous miss at the climax of the bedroom scene in the final act. For shame! Overall a most wonderful experience. Bravo Sarah Lamb, Steven McRae and Gary Avis.

  24. Meriam Maatje responded on 28 September 2015 at 11:06pm Reply

    Just back from seeing this in a small cinema in Klazienaveen, the Netherlands. I went to see this performance together with my neighbour who had seen this performance live 50 years ago. considered an elite pleasure. She was sniffling at the end, I openly wept. Such amazing dancing, stunning costumes and rousing music. Words fail to describe the performance of Steven McRae. Marvellous is not nearly enough and Sarah Lamb was stunning, and a very convincing Julia from the beginning to the end.
    A briljant way to spend an otherwise dreary monday evening.

  25. Elaine Beckett responded on 30 September 2015 at 1:09am Reply

    An exceptionally emotional and moving performance, thank you to everyone involved, including the musicians (their few tiny mistakes allowed us to remember that this was a live, unedited performance). The dancing was breathtaking, ravishing, extraordinary. I watched from a small cinema in Dorset. Inspiration indeed.

  26. Elizabeth Williams responded on 1 October 2015 at 2:30pm Reply

    Truly the most beautiful emotional ballet production I have seen. Spellbound and at times tearful as never before in a ballet. The close ups in the cinema allow you to see the buildup of the chemistry between the stars. We attend performances at Covent Garden, as friends of CG,and both experiences are so different, both wonderful for different reasons.

  27. Many of us who reside in Canada had a frustrating experience in trying to find the appropriate cinema and appropriate time. There was confusion between attending Landmark and Cineplex theaters. There is a long thread on Ballet Alert forum detailing some of our concerns. Here's the link to the thread:

    While I recommend reading all pages, I think you'll find Page 3 most useful.

    Please feel free to follow up by email.

  28. Petra Sikic responded on 20 October 2015 at 2:06am Reply

    I went to see this with a couple of friends at the cinema, it was absolutely wonderful! I know very little (read: nothing) about ballet, but I thought Sarah Lamb was ethereally graceful while still conveying the strength of Shakespeare's original Juliet, and Steven McRae just did a technically and emotionally perfect job from start to finish. They both pull of the undeniable athleticism of their roles with such lightness and fluidity. I have to say I really felt bad for them by the end off the three hours, what with that story about one of the Romeos throwing up from exhaustion. The balcony pas de deux was just beautiful, but I also loved the pas de trois with Mercutio and Benvolio. Alexander Campbell and Tristan Dyer bring real humor and recklessness to the stage. I've been dejected for two days now that such a lovely thing can exist for such a short time, life seems so ordinary after this! Please, please make a DVD of the performance so that I can be dejected again!

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