Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I thought it worked marvellously well within it’s necessarily different medium. The characterisation was natural and compelling and the overall effect was extraordinarily moving.

No surprise at all that Hayward marked her performance with such heartbreaking luminosity but, my goodness, weren’t the boys good? And at the risk of lowering the tone of this discussion, did no-one else pick up on how extraordinarily handsome they all looked? Even more do on the big screen... Phew, I must be getting old!

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I managed to get round to watching this having been very interested in all the posts on the thread and have to say I found Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words wonderful.  Different from being in the theatre but to me it complemented last year’s performances.  Loved all the dancers and what luxury casting - not only the main cast but Laura Morera as lead harlot (the Royal Opera House performance database shows Laura dancing a Harlot 48 times from 2001 to 2011 and it may be that there are other performances not on the database).  I enjoyed the camera work and thought the ending incredibly moving - Juliet’s one hand as she tries to reach Romeo, lifeless her second hand falls, then her hair.  I’d certainly buy a DVD if one’s released and many congratulations to all involved.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've watched this several times now and am beguiled every time. I think you need to take it for what it is and enjoy it and try to forget that you don't see the dancers' feet all the time, and as you would on the stage.

So much is enhanced with the opportunity to expand the backdrops, particularly the fight scenes, plus all the close ups of the dancers' expressions. For me too, it is a luxury cast with Francesca Hayward and Will Bracewell the perfect casting. I know we all have our favourite R&J's but they SO look the part, and their dancing is so beautiful. Glorious to see their expressions in close up. I was brought up in my teens with the Zeffirelli R&J which I still see as the ultimate Shakespeare R&J.  This reminds me of that production - trying to be true to the age of the characters and so pure. .

As for Matthew Ball as Tybalt - is it possible to smoulder better than he does?  The film gives him more scope to characterise and I thought he was electric when I saw him on stage. This is even better.

Then we have the glorious James Hay and Marcelino Sambe as Benvolio and Mercutio. Always my pick on stage and the film does capture their dancing and their acting and the fun they create.

Biggest regret? The fact that we miss all the steps of the 3 boys in their scene with the Nurse. I love that scene, but the full impact is lost without seeing their feet, because the steps are part of the fun.    

Biggest revelation - Tomas Mock as Paris.  Really empathetic performance - brought this very difficult part to life. Depicted far better on film that on stage   

  • Like 14

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JennyTaylor said:

Biggest revelation - Tomas Mock as Paris.  Really empathetic performance - brought this very difficult part to life. Depicted far better on film that on stage   

 

I thought Mock as Paris came over very well on stage too. I saw 4 dancers in the role during the last run & he was the only one who I thought made the character likeable & sympathetic.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whether "likeable and sympathetic" is what you want from a Paris might be debatable, though :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, alison said:

Whether "likeable and sympathetic" is what you want from a Paris might be debatable, though :) 


I’ve seen, over many years and a number of productions, a lot of likeable and sympathetic Parises.  I actually think it makes for a more poignant and powerful act 3 when he is so hurt at Juliet’s rejection.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:


I’ve seen, over many years and a number of productions, a lot of likeable and sympathetic Parises.  I actually think it makes for a more poignant and powerful act 3 when he is so hurt at Juliet’s rejection.

And it also makes his murder much more poignant and tragic.  He loved Juliet, and paid for it with his life.   

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, alison said:

Whether "likeable and sympathetic" is what you want from a Paris might be debatable, though :) 


I know lots of likeable and sympathetic people but I don’t want to marry them.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, alison said:

Whether "likeable and sympathetic" is what you want from a Paris might be debatable, though :) 

 

I thought that it intensified the tragedy to have a Paris that I felt Juliet could have married & been happy with were it not that she happened to meet Romeo & fall madly in love with him just after meeting Paris.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread sent me back to read the "Persons Represented" in the introduction to the play. Romeo is son to Montague. Juliet is daughter to Capulet. Benvolio is nephew to Montague, Tybalt is nephew to Lady Capulet. Paris is a Young Nobleman, Kinsman to the Prince, Mercutio is Kinsman to the Prince, and friend of Romeo. So they sort of balance each other in pairs, and I would imagine are all of a similar age with perhaps Tybalt and Paris a lttle older.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure I need a Paris so likeable that he becomes Romeo's rival for our sympathy, or that I imagine Juliet would be happier with him, but the libretto does have him remaining in the crypt when everyone else has gone.
I suppose the primary dramatic function of his presence there is to show how blind and heedless with grief Romeo is at this point when he kills Paris, but it also shows that Paris mourns Juliet's death, and I like it when a dancer has portrayed Paris up to that point in such a way that his grief is believable, particularly as he once seemed enough of a brute (or simply a man of his time) to try to make Juliet yield to him by force.

 

I've personally found Tomas Mock's acting very nuanced and unforced in the roles I've seen him in, no matter how small, so although I didn't catch him in R and J last year, I'm glad to hear he's good as Paris too.  

 

Edited by saki
formatting
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But there’s no getting away from Paris’s attempt to take Juliet by force, encouraged by her father and where her mother’s passive acceptance is chilling. The scene is truly shocking even if a fair depiction of historical marriage arrangements. So I find it very hard to see Paris as ‘likeable’ and think it works effectively that Paris is dispatched so swiftly by Romeo.  I’m pleased Kenneth MacMillan does not depict Paris’s dying wish to be laid near Juliet nor Romeo’s agreement.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a MacMillan addition - he often likes to spice things up with a bit of sexual violence. It doesn't appear in the play.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, JohnS said:

But there’s no getting away from Paris’s attempt to take Juliet by force, encouraged by her father and where her mother’s passive acceptance is chilling. The scene is truly shocking even if a fair depiction of historical marriage arrangements.

 

7 hours ago, Pas de Quatre said:

That's a MacMillan addition - he often likes to spice things up with a bit of sexual violence. It doesn't appear in the play.

 

I've been interpreting that scene as Paris trying to force Juliet to give her consent to the marriage rather than sexual violence. He's surely not about to rape her or anything like that with her parents in the room?!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve always found this scene very disturbing.  Capulet is in effect saying to Paris ‘make Juliet your wife by whatever means you see fit’.  Seems pretty brutal to me and so I find it hard to see Paris as ‘likeable and sympathetic’.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely review TTP.  I agree with your views of the film.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...