The white-tiled Verona institute serves as a rigid and clinical confinement for teenagers who are strictly governed by guards and medics. This chilling and detached backdrop serves as a landscape for an unhinged world in which the youths are disciplined through a combination of punishment and medication. This atmosphere is further underlined by the energy of the cast; movements are enacted in sync with one another with an almost slave-like drilling to the forceful rhythm of the music. The original Prokofiev score has been revamped by Terry Davies to compose an edgier and more grounded sound. Bourne creates a relationship between the two star crossed lovers which is utterly magnetic and mesmerising to watch: with moves entwined, lips locked, a passionate intimacy is bound within the choreography and brings a sexual energy which sets the production alight.
"Bourne's imaginative approach delivers a narrative shift and contemporary twist upon the traditional Italian tale in which young people are set against a brutal system."
An unexpected turn of events occurs in the interval as the dancers unveil themselves one by one onto the stage in unblemished silence. Each conveys an almost method-acting display of mental insanity, which captivates members of the audience and further sustains the disturbing and eerie motifs of the performance. Even more surprising, is the heart-rending finale which brilliantly culminates with Lady Gaga’s electrifying pop “Bad Romance.” Theatrically played out at a roaring volume, it provides an exhilarating boost, fresh injection of life and somewhat ironic resolution to an otherwise catastrophic ending. A fantastic piece brimming with contemporary adolescent themes of mental illness, sex and rampage, this is certainly not one to be missed!