Imag­ine if Romeo & Juliet had made it into mid­dle age

Solihull News - - ENTERTAINMENT -

THE clas­sic story of Romeo and Juliet has in­spired count­less vari­a­tions, from the New York set West Side Story to an­i­mated gar­den romp Gnomeo And Juliet.

But Olivier- nom­i­nated dance / theatre com­pany Lost Dog’s twist ar­guably takes the tale of Shake­speare’s doomed lovers, whose lives are cut short at the end of the orig­i­nal story, even fur­ther.

“I’ve al­lowed my­self to imag­ine an al­ter­nate ver­sion to Shake­speare’s orig­i­nal,” says Lost Dog artis­tic direc­tor and per­former Ben Duke.

“In this work Juliet and Romeo have been to­gether about 25 years and they are in some­thing of a mar­i­tal cri­sis.

‘‘ They love each other, but some­times they wish the other one were dead... the bloom of teenage ro­mance has def­i­nitely faded, but it still haunts them.”

Lost Dog’s reimag­in­ing finds the once “star- crossed” pair from op­pos­ing fam­i­lies strug­gling with later life woes.

“Romeo is in a mid- life cri­sis; he is try­ing to let go of the pas­sion­ate teenager he was and be­come a man. But he doesn’t have any clear idea what that man should look like so he is in limbo,” ex­plains Ben.

“Juliet is very at­tached to the ex­tra­or­di­nary teenager she was and is find­ing the or­di­nar­i­ness of her cur­rent life a strug­gle.”

Formed in 2004 by Ben and Raquel Meseguer to cre­ate work us­ing text, move­ment and mu­sic in which dance is framed by sto­ries and char­ac­ters, Lost Dog have gone on to pick up a slew of in­ter­na­tional awards in­clud­ing The Bloomberg Place Prize for Dance, UK New Chore­og­ra­phers’ Award, and 2016 Na­tional Dance Award for Out­stand­ing Male Per­for­mance.

Their ver­sion of Romeo And Juliet, which aims to ex­plore con­tem­po­rary cul­ture’s cel­e­bra­tion of youth and how it cre­ates un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions around love, sex and re­la­tion­ships, has been evolv­ing slowly since its live de­but.

“There have been a few changes to the show since we first per­formed it but the heart of the piece is the same,” says Ben of the work, which has been co- com­mis­sioned by War­wick Arts Cen­tre.

“Juliet and Romeo are still try­ing to work out how to con­tinue in this com­pli­cated game that is their re­la­tion­ship.”

Lost Dog: Romeo And Juliet vis­its War­wick Arts Cen­tre, Coven­try, on Novem­ber 7- 8. For more de­tails, see www. war­wickarts­cen­tre. co. uk

Ben Duke and So­lene Weinachter in Romeo and Juliet.

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