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BWW Reviews: ROMEO AND JULIET, Peacock Theatre, March 10 2015

"A Romeo and Juliet for the Snapchat generation"? Well, if the Friar had snapchatted Romeo instead of sending that undelivered letter, we'd all have been saved a lot of trouble!

Rasta Thomas' show is a thumping, joyous, sexy re-telling of the most famous love story of all, weaving Prokofiev in with the Swedish House Mafia and Lady Gaga in with Vivaldi. It's a thrilling mix of the contemporary and the classical, not just in the music, but also in the dance that interprets the extremes of Shakey's emotional rollercoaster in a way calculated to reach the masses but with enough to please the purists. And for the "impurists", there's lots of shirts-off skin to provoke whistles from the stalls.

Adrienne Canterna takes on choreography as well as the female lead and keeps the focus on the teens, on the boys' testosterone fueled aggression and on Juliet's aching desire for her Romeo. She captures all that longing in her solo bedroom dance backed by Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and then delivers a beautifully realised love scene with Preston Swovelin's hot-blooded Romeo to the tune of Samuel Barber's soaring strings.There's much to enjoy in the fight scenes too, with Ryan Carlson's swaggering, thuggish Tybalt as a standout - he looks and behaves like Joey Barton in one of his more fractious moods and creates a perfect bad boy.

Romeo and Juliet (continuing until 29 March at the Peacock Theatre) is unlikely to please consistently from Scene 1 to Scene 24, but everyone will find something to enjoy and most will find plenty. It's a show that captures the power of Shakespeare's characters and the delight of the double whammy of music and dance. And it may just turn sceptical teens on to the joys of ballet and the depths of Shakespeare - and those are gifts that will last a lifetime.



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From This Author Gary Naylor