It is one of those volatile spring days where the weather can’t make up its mind, and I am in the studios at Three Mills Island, deep in the East End of London, watching rehearsals for Matthew Bourne’s brand-new production of Romeo and Juliet. To judge by the section of Prokofiev’s ever-astonishing score firing from the speakers, we are in the midst of the final, calamitous scene of Act II.
Tybalt staggers on, paralytically drunk. So far, so familiar to anyone who’s seen certain Tybalts in the Royal Ballet’s production – except that he is also clutching a revolver, which he brandishes at the terrified crowd of young onlookers. He then takes Mercutio and Balthasar hostage, forcing them, at gunpoint,...
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