The Olivier-nominated dance/theatre company LOST DOG tour their smash-hit production Juliet and Romeo to Oxford this autumn. Juliet & Romeo opened to packed houses and critical acclaim at a two week run at Battersea Arts Centre in London earlier this year. Broadly based on Shakespeare’s deeply pessimistic teenage love story, this “highly entertaining, extremely amusing and occasionally quite tender evening of theatre and dance” (Times) is performed by Lost Dog’s Artistic Director Ben Duke and Solène Weinachter. This clever, funny production explores contemporary culture’s celebration of youth and how it creates unrealistic expectations around love, sex and relationships.

The show reveals the real story of Romeo and Juliet. It turns out they didn’t die in a tragic misunderstanding, they grew up and lived happily ever after. Well they lived at least.  Now they are 40ish, at least one of them is in the grips of a mid-life crisis, they feel constantly mocked by their teenage selves and haunted by the pressures of being the poster couple for romantic love.  They have decided to confront their current struggles by putting on a performance – about themselves. Their therapist told them it was a terrible idea.

Artistic director of Lost Dog Dance, Ben Duke, saysI hope audiences will be entertained and moved by the work. It’s a piece that allows people to consider the nature of their own relationships, something we could all do with reflecting on. I’ve allowed myself to imagine an alternate version to Shakespeare’s original: 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.

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

“There have been a few changes to the show since we first performed it but the heart of the piece is the same. Juliet and Romeo are still trying to work out how to continue in this complicated game that is their relationship.

Ben Duke plays Romeo. His one-man show, Paradise Lost (Lies Unopened Beside Me) won him huge critical acclaim, the 2016 National Dance Critics’ Circle Award for Outstanding Male Performance and a nomination for the 2016 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance. Ben’s recent piece for Rambert, ‘Goat’, was another big hit with critics and audiences alike and was nominated for a 2018 Olivier award.

Solene Weinachter plays Juliet. Born in France, Solène Weinachter trained in the regional conservatoire of Lyon and then pursued her training at London Contemporary Dance School where she obtained a BA(Hons) and an MA in contemporary dance and performance. Solène has worked with a wide range of dance and physical theatre companies in Europe including: Scottish Dance Theatre, Lost Dog, Gecko Theatre Company, Troubleyn and most recently Vera Tussing Projects. She is also a founding member of Collective Endeavours, a Glasgow-based music and dance improvisation collective.

Performances:  Thursday 1st & Friday 2nd November, 8.00pm

Venue:  The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JN

Tickets: £16/£14
Box Office: 01865 319450 or book online here

Read Susie Crow’s review of Ben Duke’s Paradise Lost (Lies Unopened Beside Me) here and of Lost Dog in Like Rabbits here

Advertisements