Style of the City reviews the most anticipated adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. The highly-recommended production which is part of a 13 venue UK tour, has already established outstanding reviews for its passionate and contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic love story. We were extremely excited to experience the ballet for ourselves.

Cardiff Bay is the perfect setting for entertainment, restaurants, bars, attractions and so much more. Finally, the weather presented a break from the rain, with a dash of sunshine, so we decided to begin the evening in one of our favourite locations, Piatto. The new social dining concept, by restaurant legend Giovanni Malacrino, has become a popular destination; due to the excitement of their 10 types of pasta, which is available to choose from on their menu. In three easy steps, you are able to have a dish of your own creation, in the beautiful setting of Cardiff Bay, with the bright picturesque views from the top floor.

Their menu is a modern take on traditional Italian delicacies, with new inventions, including an option for your dish of choice to be presented in a cheese bowl and the popular option of Nutella pizza for dessert. So of course, we had to try it!

The Zucchini E Gambrei and Carbonara in the cheese bowl

We began with a dish of Zucchini E Gamberi (your choice of pasta with king prawns, fresh herbs and diced courgette) and a traditional Carbonara in a cheese bowl made from parmesan, which was highly recommended by the insightful and friendly staff. We then had to try the Pizza Alla Nutella, which was delicious! And finished off with a well-crafted coffee.

The Pizza Alla Nutella

We then ventured to the Wales Millennium Centre to watch Matthew Bourne’s sinister twist of Romeo & Juliet. Unlike other performances of the play, which I have seen many a time, Bourne turned the portrayal of the classic Shakespeare play into a modern ballet, which was truly gripping. In contrast to previous adaptations of the play, Bourne’s cast only included young talent to express the tragedy of the young love and death of Romeo & Juliet. Also, the cast included six talented members from Wales.

Romeo & Juliet at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

The entire ballet was set in a white setting of The Verona Institute, in the not too distant future, where it continued to portray the time Romeo (Andy Monaghan) & Juliet (Seren Williams) spent together. The first scene begins with Romeo and Juliet foreshadowing their ultimate death, placed in the mortuary. Bourne sets the sinister atmosphere of Juliet being sexually assaulted in the institute by the guard, Tybalt (who is Juliet’s cousin in the original play), which causes distress to the other patients.

The cast of Romeo & Juliet at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff.

Through the majority of scenes, the cast is dressed head to toe in white, to symbolize the purity of the patients in front of the guards and supervisors; however, when alone, they demonstrate sexual behaviour. In contrast to the original play, Bourne illustrates homosexuality between the patients, which is portrayed by the characters Mercutio and Balthasar. The ballet also highlights homophobic behaviour by the guard, Tybalt, who abuses his power on those who are classed as venerable people. Symbolically, the complete use of white scenery and outfits also represent the madness that occurs within the room, especially from the patients, due to the acts of abuse that is allowed to occur within the institute. Ironically, the institute is meant to help those who are there. Furthermore, the scenery foreshadowed the death of Romeo due to Juliet’s foreseen madness.

The dancers presented a gripping and magnificent journey to the audience, through the use of expressive dance. The performance is showcased at the Wales Millennium Centre until the 22nd of June 2019. For a magnificent night of great food, picturesque settings and entertainment, be sure to venture to both venues.

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