Romeo & Juliet: ‘all very clever, but to what end?’

Tom Holland’s superstar appeal helped tickets for “Romeo & Juliet” sell out in less than two hours. But his long-awaited return to the West End, 16 years after his debut in “Billy Elliot”, is “no straightforward crowd-pleaser”.

The stripped-back visuals and “unconventional staging” favoured by director Jamie Lloyd come at a cost: by eschewing the “giddy melodrama of young love” and instead placing the emphasis on “brooding atmospherics”, said Houman Barekat in The New York Times, the muted rendering of romance risks leaving the audience “wanting more”. 

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