THE tale of the world’s most famous star-crossed lovers was told through dance on the Perth Concert Hall stage by the Peter Schaufuss Ballet Company.
It was the first classical event of this year’s Perth Festival of the Arts and what a way to kick it off.
It also marked the first full ballet performance on the Perth Concert Hall stage and it was ably executed, with the large stage drawn in by drapes to provide wings and a set of steps running across the rear of the stage, which signified the balcony and allowed characters to appear on stage but show they are not in the same place.
The projection screen also greatly helped, providing a setting through images of church steeples, Verona streets or courtyards of buildings.
The score for the performance was that composed by Prokofiev – perhaps the most well-known music based on Shakespeare’s play – and in an auditorium the size of the concert hall a piece like the ‘Dance of the Knights’ (known to many as the music for ‘The Apprentice’) thundered wonderfully.
The cast, which can only be criticised as slightly too small, performed their roles well, conveying the feeling, emotion and meaning behind each move. It would have been nice to see some more Capulet party revellers or bystanders in the Verona piazza but the small-numbered production worked hard, in some instances taking on additional roles.
The story was also slimmed down to a 100-minute running time but it worked well, stopping pieces from seeming over-long.
The Danish production proved to be a hit with the audience, who applauded rapturously for both cast and director Peter Shaufuss. Katy Gordon