Ballet Cymru recently premiered their main touring production for 2024: Romeo a Juliet.

The award-winning adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet features choreography from company directors Darius James OBE and Amy Doughty along with costumes by Georg Meyer-Wiel. The production was winner of ‘best large-scale dance production’ at the Wales Theatre Awards and – for 2024 – premiered at Riverfront Theatre in Newport.

Leah Powell – joined by her sister (11) – attended the premiere, and reviewed the experience…

Here's the review...

Riverfront Theatre was packed for the premiere night of Romeo a Juliet and (armed with our drinks and Pringles bought in the lobby) we were ushered to our seats. Hundreds of people sat in anticipation with the words “Ballet Cymru” projected onto a huge on-stage screen.

Prior to Romeo a Juliet a video was shown on Duets – a programme for young people in areas of need to access dance training and progression – was shown before a delightful opening show by youngsters involved. People can find out more about Duets online at

A man walked onto stage and there was a hush. He told the audience that, due to a family emergency, one of the dancers would not be performing that evening and announced changes to the cast. Despite these last-minute changes, the show must go on – and it did that superbly. I doubt anyone in the audience would have suspected changes had they not been revealed.

While there was no dialogue in Romeo a Juliet the tragic love story was brought to life through the art of motion. While my sister wasn’t familiar with Romeo and Juliet she was able to follow the plot and sat in captivated awe throughout the performance.

“I was a little confused at the start but, as it went on, I started to understand what was going on,” she told me.

The talent demonstrated on stage was, in my opinion, second to none. Despite the dramatic and complex movements, the dancers made it seem effortless and it flowed flawlessly. Along with demonstrating skills and strength, the dancers were mindful of their facial expressions throughout. Tone was expressed, wordlessly, creating an intense and engaging watch.

Romeo a Juliet is dramatic and lively and overflowing with emotion – whether through the tenderness of love between the star-crossed lovers or through the intense fight scenes masterfully performed and synchronised beautifully.

The set was well done, without being overly complicated, with smooth transitions between scenes. My sister praised the “cool” stage set-up and lighting along with the wonderful costumes. The music – credited to Serge Prokofieff and played by Sinfonia Cymru – was dramatic and played a key part in telling the tragic tale of the young lovers (my sister added that the music was “at times scary”).

While this was not the first Ballet Cymru production we’ve seen, we are in continued amazement at the skills of their dancers and the professionalism and dedication demonstrated in their productions. Romeo a Juliet is a thrilling show jam-packed with emotion and drama – well done to all involved.

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