Dance and theatre fans in Milton Keynes can expect to fall madly in love with Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet this month.
Directed and choreographed by Sir Bourne, this contemporary take on Shakespeare’s timeless tale of two star-crossed lovers promises raw passion and youthful vitality. The dance–theatre production, which was originally created as an innovative talent development project, garnered universal critical acclaim when it premiered at Sadler’s Wells in 2019.
Following this success, Bourne’s company, New Adventures, has added the production to its celebrated repertoire. Given the popularity of past performances, and the love shown for this company whenever it tours, tickets are bound to sell out.
In signature Bourne style, the era, setting, characters and plot have been reimagined with the intention of tackling the tale in a relevant, questioning and moving way. Nonetheless, the core ideas of forbidden love and personal sacrifice remain central to this radical remake.
Two young lovers are confined in an oppressive institution against their will, by a restrictive society that seeks to divide. What will happen when they follow their hearts and risk everything to be together?
Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet is danced to a fresh orchestration of Sergei Prokofiev’s dynamic score by Terry Davies. The production is brought to the stage in collaboration with the New Adventures artistic team: Etta Murfitt (associate artistic director), Lez Brotherston (set and costume designer), Paule Constable (lighting designer), Paul Groothuis (sound designer) and Arielle Smith (associate choreographer).
The role of Juliet will be played by Cordelia Braithwaite and Monique Jonas. Cordelia created the role in 2019 and was nominated for a National Dance Award for her performance. Monique was last seen as Sugar in the 2021/2022 tour of Nutcracker! and will be making her debut as Juliet.
The role of Romeo will be played by Paris Fitzpatrick and Andrew Monaghan, who both created the role in 2019. Paris and Andrew were last seen on tour in Sleeping Beauty.
The role of Tybalt is being shared by Danny Reubens and Richard Winsor. Danny, who will also be dance captain for the tour, created this menacing role in 2019. New Adventures veteran Richard, who will be making his debut as Tybalt, returns to the company having last performed as Luca in The Car Man at the Royal Albert Hall in 2022.
Completing the company are Tanisha Addicott, Matthew Amos, Carla Contini, Tasha Chu, Adam Davies, Gabrielle de Souza, Jackson Fisch, Anya Ferdinand, Cameron Flynn, Euan Garrett, Kurumi Kamayachi, Hannah Kremer, Rory MacLeod, Blue Makwana, Leonardo McCorkindale, Eleanor McGrath, Enrique Ngbokota, Bryony Pennington and Harry Ondrak Wright.
Long-time New Adventures artists Daisy May Kemp and Alan Vincent will also feature in the production, in addition to serving as resident directors.
Running time: Approximately 1 hour 50 minutes, including one interval.
Contains loud sound effects, including a gun shot, and has flashing lights in sections (not strobe). Includes scenes of a disturbing and sexual nature, including stabbing and strangulation.
Age guidance: 14+
*Production photography by Johan Persson.
This preview is also featured on Total MK.
Update 6 September 2023: Read my review of Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Georgina Butler is an editor, a dance writer and a ballet teacher.