Cocktail and ballet review: the “last sip” of Romeo and Juliet
“The Last Sip” – The Pineapple Club
In collaboration with the recent production of the Birmingham Royal Ballet Romeo and Juliet, The Pineapple Club created a limited edition cocktail named ‘The Last Sip’, running from 1st-16e October. We had the opportunity to try this special cocktail before heading to the show at Birmingham Racecourse.
The Pineapple Club is located in Great Western Arcade, on the corner of Colmore Row, and just a fifteen minute walk from the Racecourse. Even though our visit was quite early on a Friday evening, we were delighted to see that the restaurant had a pleasant atmosphere which was perfect for our pre-show drink.
“The Last Sip” was designed by Pineapple Club bar manager Klára Kopčiková, and at first glance you can see why this drink feels so magical thanks to the little details. The tall, slender shape of the glass really mimics the lethal vial that is so famous in the room, and definitely heightens the drama of the drink. Plus, the blue and purple hue of the drink itself is so wonderful to look at, as we found the color to change in appearance depending on the surrounding light.
The blend of floral notes within the cocktail is intensified by the sprig of lavender which is clipped to the rim of the glass. I found it amplified the lavender taste the more I sipped, blending the taste and smell sensations. Alongside the lavender notes are violet, raspberry and prosecco. As someone who rarely ventures into floral cocktails, I was surprised at the uniqueness of the flavor as I had never tried a drink like this before. The floral notes blend with the fruity raspberry to add a layer of sweetness, which is then cut off by the slight spiciness of the prosecco at the end.
The Pineapple Club has captured the dramatic essence of Romeo and Juliet through ‘The Last Sip’, helping you to be part of the action yourself. We had a lovely experience here and wish we had more time to sample some of the other craft cocktails they had to offer. Thanks to the staff who came by to ask us what we thought of ‘The Last Sip’, I highly recommend you come and try this superb cocktail for yourself before it’s gone!
Romeo and Juliet – Birmingham Racecourse
After 14 months, the Birmingham Royal Ballet has finally been welcomed to Birmingham Hippodrome – their home theater – for a moving performance of the ballet Romeo and Juliet. After staying in Birmingham for six performances, the company will now be heading to Theater Royal Plymouth at the end of the month for six more.
Classical ballet, choreographed by Sir Kenneth Macmillan, seems to have been the perfect decision for their homecoming. As one of my favorite ballets – and one of the brilliant director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta – the powerful and dramatic performance was a sure fire for my heart. As the live orchestra began to play the first notes of Sergei Prokofiev’s legendary score, the screen rose and I immediately felt the admiration of what was in front of me.
The impressive set is perhaps the most remarkable thing at the start of the performance. As the show went on, I counted 5 or 6 main sets, each more detailed and more beautiful than the next, some having additions to indicate a different setting. For example, the opening decor of the large stone pillars included broken wooden crates on the ceiling, indicating an exterior setting. This same set was later used for the exterior of Juliet’s house, the only difference being the lighting. The clever use of the setting completed the visual aspect of the ballet, alongside the colorful and intricate costumes.
However, the most important part of the ballet was, of course, the dancers. Béatrice Parma en Juliette has an incredible mastery of herself and the stage, and she made a lasting impression on me. It’s even more impressive knowing that this was her debut as Juliet. His clean lines, gorgeous extensions, and solid technique gave him the space to focus on his acting – a focus that obviously paid off; her performance as Juliette was wonderful.
In the first act, the audience could perfectly see her as an innocent young girl falling in love for the first time. At the end of the ballet, her portrayal of the pain Juliette felt as her plan collapsed and the man she loved dies asked members of the audience to pull out handkerchiefs. It was obvious that this was an important role for Parma, as everyone could see the effort and care put into the characterization.
Mathias Dingman played the role of Romeo perfectly, from the blissful smile thinking of Juliet after seeing a wedding procession to his cry of agony upon seeing his beloved dead. Gus Payne in Mercutio brought us a flawless performance, both as a dancer and an actor, and one that certainly left an impression on the audience, hearing the whistles and screams he received during the bows.
Gabriel Anderson as Paris was flawless in the execution of his role. He teamed up with Parma for a few pas-de-deux, and seeing that he’s much taller than her – and knowing how difficult it is to dance with someone much taller or shorter than her. you – I was all the more impressed with their performance and how effortless their partnership looked. At least, the pas-de-deux of the first act was, because Juliette is very reluctant to dance with Paris in the second.
Of course, the corps de ballet could have been a bit more cohesive in parts and some trial and error was seen on stage, but overall the Birmingham Royal Ballet delivered an exquisite (and extremely tragic) performance. The famous balcony scene caught everyone’s attention and I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry multiple times. The echoes in the music of Act I, while it is only an innocent love story, in Act III, where the ballet turns into a well-known tragedy, only enhance the heartbreaking beauty of the dance.
I was certainly not disappointed with the show, and although I went with high expectations, I was not disappointed. Carlos Acosta and the Birmingham Royal Ballet as a whole provided a wonderful performance, and I would recommend him to anyone. Can’t wait to see their upcoming performances like the famous The Nutcracker coming at the end of November, and the “Carlos Curates: R&J Reimagined” which will include two performances of Romeo and Juliet: Romeo + Juliet, in collaboration with the Rosie Kay Dance Company and Edward Clug’s Radio and Juliet, a performance to the music of Radiohead.
Sofia Salazar Studer
Did you like it? Learn more about Redbrick Culture!
Dance Show Review: Message in a Bottle
Ballerina with Dementia Remembers Choreography: How the Arts Stay With Us
‘Rethink. Reskill. Restart. ‘ Is this a campaign to get rid of culture?